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New Federal Stimulus Package Passed by Congress

NAR’s Federal Advocacy team has been working closely with Congress and the Administration to ensure the interests of REALTORS®, their families, consumers, and the entire real estate industry are protected in any federal action in response to COVID-19.

On December 21, Congress passed a COVID-relief package, which also included an Omnibus spending bill for FY21, and some tax extenders. Below is a summary of the major provisions of that bill impacting REALTORS®:

COVID-RELATED PROVISIONS

Unemployment Assistance

Extends the maximum number of weeks individuals may receive unemployment benefits, from 39 weeks to 50 weeks.
Extends all unemployment assistance, including the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program and the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation from December 26, 2020- March 14, 2021.
Limits payment of retroactive PUA benefits to weeks of unemployment after December 1, 2020, and PUA requests end on March 14, 2021.
Eligible individuals may receive PUA benefits until April 5, 2021 as long as the individual has not reached his or her maximum number of weeks of unemployment.
Extends Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) at $300 per week for 10 weeks. This provides supplemental unemployment benefits for individuals receiving PUA or regular unemployment compensation for weeks after December 26, 2020 until March 14, 2021.
Extends Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) for a maximum of 24 weeks for eligible individuals.
Phases out the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program and ends the program on April 5, 2021.
Extends interest-free loans to states to keep their unemployment insurance trust funds running.
Reimburses states at 50 percent for the first week of compensable regular unemployment benefits for states with no waiting period.
Provides individuals seeking unemployment benefits with the right to appeal any state determination or redetermination regarding rights to PUA.
Provides a repayment waiver for individuals who received Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), but who were not entitled to receive PUA, if the PUA payment was the fault of the individual and repayment would be “contrary to equity or good conscience.” State labor agencies must make all individual determinations regarding one’s repayment or waiver status.
Requires individuals to continue to re-certify weekly with the state that the individual’s loss of income is due to a Covid-related reason or issue and the individual is unemployed for a such week.
Adds additional program measures requiring individuals seeking unemployment to provide documentation of earnings and employment to state agencies as a mechanism for states to verify the identity of individuals seeking unemployment benefits.
Imposes “return to work” reporting requirements for states to provide a way for employers to report when someone turns down a job and to notify claimants of the requirement to accept suitable work, unless there is a good cause for refusal.

Paycheck Protection Program

Appropriates $284.45 billion for PPP loans and $20 billion for EIDL Grants.
Certain eligible businesses may receive second-draws of PPP loans of up to $2 million: 300 employees or fewer (or meets alternative SBA size standards) and saw at least a 25% drop in gross receipts in 2020 to a comparable quarter in 2019.
The maximum loan amount a business can get (for both first- and second-draw PPP loans) is $10 million within 90 days.
PPP borrowers who receive $150,000 or less in PPP loan money may submit a one-page forgiveness form online certifying their compliance with the program requirements.
Extends the deadline for PPP “covered periods” (the 8- or 24-week period from which a borrower has to use their PPP funds) through September 30, 2021.
Expands allowable expenditures of PPP funds to cover purchasing PPE for employees;
501©(6) organizations can access PPP funds if they have 300 employees or fewer, do not receive more than 15% of their receipts from lobbying activities and lobbying activities do not comprise more than 15% of their activities, and the cost of the lobbying activities of the organization did not exceed $1,000,000 during the most recent tax year.
PPP funds cannot be used for lobbying activities of any kind.
Repeals the requirement that borrowers who receive both an EIDL advance grant and a PPP loan deduct the forgiven amount of the EIDL grant from the forgivable amount of their PPP loan.

PPP Tax Forgiveness

Allows for deductibility of business expenses paid for with forgiven PPP loans.

Eviction Moratorium & Rental Assistance

Provides $25b through September 30, 2022 for rental assistance. The monies will be allocated to states through the Department of Treasury.
States allocation will be based on population, no state will receive less than $200 million.
Allows landlords to apply for funds on behalf of tenants.
Includes payments for rent in arrears as well as utilities and “and other expenses related to housing.”
States should prioritize families with incomes below 50% of area median income (but no set % of funds distributed is required).
Rental assistance will not be included in recipient’s income for federal tax purposes.
Extends CDC moratorium through January 31, 2021.

State and Local Funding

Extend by one year (until Dec. 31, 2021) the availability of funds provided to states and localities by the Coronavirus Relief Fund in the CARES Act.

Individual Stimulus Payments

Provides for one-time direct payments of $600 for individuals making up to $75,000 and $1,200 for couples making up to $150,000, as well as an extra $600 per eligible child dependent.

Broadband Expansion

Provides $7 billion for broadband internet access: $285 million for connecting minority communities.
$3.2 Billion for an Emergency Broadband Benefit for Low-Income Americans
$300 Million to Promote Broadband Expansion to Unserved Americans
$65 Million for the development of new, more accurate, and more granular broadband maps

Tax Provisions (related to COVID)

The Employee Retention Tax Credit is modified by:
Increasing the credit rate from 50% to 70% of qualified wages.
The eligibility is expanded by reducing the year-over-year gross receipts decline from 50% to 20%.
Increasing the limit on per-employee creditable wages from $10K per year to $10K per quarter.
Increasing the 100-employee delineation to 500 or fewer employees.
Allowing businesses with PPP loans to qualify.
Extending the credit through June 30, 2021.
Extends payroll tax credits for paid sick and family leave enacted in the Families First Coronavirus Response Act through March 31, 2021.
Tax Extender Provisions

The exclusion from income for mortgage debt forgiveness is extended for five years (through 2025), but the maximum amount is reduced from $2 million to $750,000.
The energy-efficient commercial buildings deduction is extended permanently, its efficiency standards are updated, and the deduction rates are indexed for inflation.
The energy investment tax credit for solar and residential energy-efficient property tax credit is extended for two years (through 2023).
The mortgage insurance premium deduction is extended for one year (through 2021).
The energy efficient homes credit is extended for one year (through 2021).
The nonbusiness energy tax credit (for qualified energy efficiency improvements) is extended for one year (through 2021).

Other Provisions

Provides for the tax deduction of 100% of business meals (up from 50%) for 2021 and 2022.
Corrects a technical problem in depreciating residential rental housing – under certain circumstances, some real estate businesses were forced to depreciate residential rental housing over 40 years instead of 30 if they elected out of a limitation of interest deductibility under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. The recovery period is corrected to 30 years in the Act.
The Low-Income Housing Tax Credit is enhanced by the creation of a permanent 4% floor for the portion of the LIHTC that is typically used for rehabilitation of older rental housing and the preservation of subsidized rental developments.
Requires carbon monoxide detectors in all federally-assisted rental housing.
Provides for $49.6 billion for HUD’s budget, which is $561 million above the 2020 enacted level. This bill includes:
$152 million for the Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity and its grant programs, $7 million above the 2020 enacted level:
Funding for HUD’s fair housing grants, activities, and assistance, increased by $2.3 million to $72.5 million.
Funding for HUD’s Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity staffing and expenses increased by $4.8 million to $79.8 million.
$25.8 billion for Tenant-based Rental Assistance, $1.9 billion above the 2020 enacted level; and $13.5 billion for Project-Based Rental Assistance, $895 million above the 2020 enacted level.
$40 million for HUD/VA Supportive Housing for Homeless Veterans (same as 2020).
$43 million for new incremental vouchers for homeless individuals and families.
$200 million for the Choice Neighborhoods Initiative, $25 million above the 2020 enacted level.
$3.5 billion for Community Development Block Grants, $50 million above the 2020 enacted level.
$77.5 million for Housing Counseling, $25 million above the 2020 enacted level.
Reauthorizes the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA), which funds various critical water infrastructure projects in communities nationwide, including water management, flood control, drinking water and resilience. In turn, these projects make communities safer and support economic stability and growth.
Authorizes various renewable energy, energy efficiency and other energy projects, which will make energy more abundant, affordable, provide jobs and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.


Bryan Greene
Vice President, Policy Advocacy
National Association of REALTORS
Washington, DC 20001

Sanford Mixed Use Development Approved by Planning Commission

Rezoning approved by planning commission for development

Scott Osborne, who is a baseball fan, put off watching baseball on television on Tuesday, so he could attend a special board meeting regarding a proposed housing development to be put up near his home. He was not in favor of it.

Marshall Downey, director of the city/county Planning and Development Department explains something to Scott Osborne, in regards to a proposed housing development near where Osborne lives. Residents came out Tuesday to express their views on this development through a public hearing.

A major development is one step closer to breaking ground with the city’s planning commission approving their rezoning request.

The decision came after a lengthy public hearing on the issue, Tuesday night, with numerous residents against it and those behind the development, stepping to the podium at the Wicker Civic Center to state their case. Members of the Planning Board met to discuss and decide on the rezoning after the city council approved the annexation of the property into the city limits.

The legislation called for the rezoning of three adjoining tracts of land totaling 168 acres with frontage on Valley Road (S.R. 1325), Forestwood Park Road (S.R. 1384) and Boone Trail Road/U.S. 421 Hwy. from Residential Redistricted to the Brookshire Conditional Zoning District to allow for the development of a residential subdivision with two commercial areas as illustrated on the Brookshire Subdivision Conceptual Development Plan.

The land would be broken up into five sections, three with 404 lots for single family homes of varying lot sizes, 22 acres geared toward the building of apartments and about 5 acres for commercial development.

Members of the planning board unanimously approved the rezoning of the property with some conditions they would like the city council to adhere to once construction began, but were unavailable at press time. One of the issues they wrestled with prior to making their decision was density in terms of how close the homes would be to each other.

The city council will have to vote to approve the board’s rezoning package at their next meeting which is scheduled for Nov. 2.

Terry Slate, manager for the group that makes up Pinnacle Partners LLC, which owns and wants to develop the land, said what the city is going through is difficult but it has to be addressed.

“They realize that Sanford needs housing,” he said. “They are doing a great job bringing in industry and jobs to Sanford and these people need a place to live.”

He said if the council approves the rezoning recommendation he believe they will begin construction within six to eight months.

“It’s their decision if they want the subdivision or not,” he said.

Slate said he understands residents concerns and considers it a part of the process and believes it has been very positive. In terms of the development’s potential impact on current residents he would not comment, but said, if approved by the city council, what they will develop will not be shabby.

“Certainly I want to do something I am proud of and the town of Sanford is proud of,” he said.

In other news, Fred J. McIver, member of the Sanford Planning Board, was recognized for his 23 years of on the board. He recently stepped down as a member of the board.

He was presented with a proclamation from the mayor along with a plaque in recognition of his years of service.

“Thank you to my wonderful Planning Board over the years,” he said. “It has been a pleasure to serve the citizens of Lee County.”

Fayetteville City Council Annexes Property on the North side of Ramsey Street

The following Annexations were approved unanimously by the Fayetteville City Council.

Annexation approved for the proposed Greystone South Subdivision, located on the southern edge of Greystone Farms. The land totals 29.89 acres and is owned by Dohn Broadwell Jr.
Motion: was made by Councilwoman Jenson and a second from Councilman Dawkins

Annexation approved for the proposed Coventry Woods Subdivision. The property is located on the south side of McCloskey Road and is 40.69 acres and owned by William Clark.
Motion: was made by Councilwoman Jenson and a second from Councilman Hair

Other Business:

The Council approved a rezoning from Cumberland County Residential to Single-Family 10 on Kimberwicke Drive. The property is 29.89 acres and is owned by Broadwell Land Company.
Motion: was made by Councilwoman Jenson and a second from Councilman Wright

Cumberland County Commission Update

The Cumberland County Commissioners voted on the following rezonings as they pertain to local real estate.

Case P21-31 – Rezoning 25 acres from Rural Residential to Residential Conditional Zoning. The rezoning will allow up to 77 lots with zero lot line development. The property is located south of Clinton Road, west of Forte Road. (Stedman area) The planning staff and planning board recommended approval.

Vote: Passed with Commissioners Adam, Boose and Keefe voting in opposition

Case P21-33 – Rezoning 41.98 acres from Agriculture to Residential Conditional Zoning for up to 122 zero lot line subdivision. The property is located west of NC 87 Hwy and south of Olaburns Drive. The planning board recommended denial and the planning staff recommended approval.

Vote: This case has been remanded back to the planning board.

Consideration of approval of purchase price for 20.18 acres on the south side of Elliot Farm Road on behalf of the Cumberland County Board of Education. The site will be a future elementary school.

Vote: Passed

Other Business: Memorandum from Cumberland County

Cumberland County has been allocated $65.2 million in Coronavirus Local Fiscal Recovery Funds under the American Rescue Plan Act. The County’s three-member ARP Committee (Commissioner Jimmy Keefe, Committee Chair; Board Vice Chairman Glenn Adams and Commissioner Dr. Toni Stewart) met Sept. 7, 2021, to consider initial allocations for projects using the federal funding. The Commissioners voted to approve the allocations. (below)

Generators for emergency shelters – $1,800,00
Narcan for Sheriff’s Office, Fire Departments – $140,000
Mortgage assistance program – $2,000,000
Rental assistance program – $1,500,000
Trade job training program – $2,000,000
Small local business assistance program – $3,500,000
Aid to non-profits serving residents affected by COVID-19 – $3,500
Mobile technology lab and bookmobile (public library) – $500,000
Affordable housing project in Shaw Heights – $10,000,000
Homeless shelter – site selection and design costs – $250,000
First-time homebuyers’ program – $2,500,000
Sanitary Sewer System in Shaw Heights – $5,000,000
Comprehensive countywide feasibility study for water and sewer – $2,000,000


NC REALTORS® State of Real Estate Talking Points

NC REALTORS ® provided their annual State of Real Estate event this month. Below is just a snapshot of various topics regarding affordable workforce housing as well as the link to all of the presentations.

Talking points from NC Senator Chuck Evans

  • Government is preventing affordable housing (regulations, building codes)
  • Senate Bill 349 has been introduced – increase housing opportunities and requires municipalities on residential property to allow duplexes, triplexes, accessory dwellings etc. if no home owners association or historic district is in place
  • 75% percent of property is zoned single family only
  • The bill would help lower income for a mortgage from $54,000 for single family to $31,000 for a duplex etc. Giant difference and more access for the American dream.  This would be paramount to repairing our society.

Q – What are the obstacles to SB 349?
A – local government and removing control, local control should be property owner

Q – How do you respond?
A – Try to convince them to relax regulations.  SB349 has not received much love this year.  I’m more embolden to get groups across the U.S. to support this

Q – Do you have supporters?

A – CATO, groups in DC, conservative workgroups, American Legislative Exchange Council

Q – How should REALTORS® educate them?
A – Ronald Reagan introduced similar legislation.  I put together a flyer.  This bill respects free market and rejects current socialist approach.

Q – How do you tackle “not in my backyard?”
A – The ultimate right is the property owner

Three larger metro area Mayors providing insight as to how they have tackled the very serious issues of lack of workforce housing and lack of housing in their cities.   

City of Raleigh Mayor Mary-Ann Baldwin

  • We allow accessory dwelling units and give homeowners a choice
  • We encourage missing middle housing, duplexes, tri-plexes in 80% of city before single family residential
  • Allowed text changes July 6 on Council to allow cottage courts (tiny houses).  We removed the regulations against them.  We now allow them being constructed now.
  • The city sold a piece of property for $1.00 to a developer to build a cottage court community.
  • We are working on a text change for tiny homes. Working on that now.
  • We are working on flag lots (long lots) similar to the ones in Atlanta.  It is a smarter way for land use. Working on the text change.
  • Reducing minimum lot sizes and parking requirements
  • Working with Wake County on underutilized property
  • New zoning to allow for density
  • Incentivizing developers to include workforce transit into housing projects
  • Land swaps and gap funding
  • Expedited approvals on projects
  • Reduction in impact fees
  • Creation of municipal influence district
  • Partnering with land trust
  • Approved 80-million-dollar housing bond…72% of voters approved this
  • Public/private partnerships to add more affordable housing
  • Low-income housing tax credits for GAP funding to developers
  • Homeowner rehabilitation program, reduces gentrification
  • Downpayment assistance

City of Durham Mayor Steve Schewel

  • Allowing developers to build duplexes, tri-plexes, flag lots etc.
  • Single-family zoning won’t work
  • 95 million housing bond was passed in 2019
  • 15 million is going for housing lower income people
  • Promoting new mixed income neighborhoods
  • Creating 2,000 rental until and 400 low-income homes
  • Promoting housing loans, low interest loans from Duke University & Suntrust

City of Charlotte Mayor Vi Lyles – slideshow coming soon

City of Fayetteville Wants Feedback on 2022 City Budget

2023 Budget Logo            
Citizens “Can Do” the budget too and we need your participation!      

Fayetteville Residents,   Your Voice Matters! 
The City of Fayetteville is preparing for the fiscal year 2023 budget process and wants to hear your feedback in a short survey.

This survey is open and will remain available for comment until January 30, 2022.   

Please complete the brief survey at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/CITIZENSCANDOBUDGET


Citizens “Can Do” the budget too and we need your participation!   Thank you! We look forward to your responses   Respectfully, The City of Fayetteville Budget Office 
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Public Input for Spring Lake Land Use Plan

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Spring Lake Land Use Plan Public Meeting Sept. 30

Sep 21, 2021

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. – Cumberland County Planning and Inspections invites Spring Lake area community members to attend a public open house meeting to create a new Spring Lake area land use plan called Spring Lake Area Visioning the Future. The meeting will be on Sept. 30 at the Spring Lake Recreation Center located at 245 Ruth Street. Attendees may arrive anytime between 6 and 8 p.m.

The land use plan will not change the current zoning or use of property. Participants who attend the public meeting will help planners understand the needs and values of Spring Lake area stakeholders.

For more information about the Spring Lake Land Use Plan visit spring-lake-area-land-use-plan-cumberlandgis.hub.arcgis.com. Residents who cannot attend the meeting in person and want to provide feedback may do so by visiting the website or calling 910-678-7612.

The current Spring Lake Area Land Use Plan was adopted in 2002. Cumberland County Planning staff routinely updates area land use plans, and the Spring Lake Plan Area is the department’s latest project.

“We are excited to engage with stakeholders to create this plan which will guide future zoning decisions and identify potential pathways to community goals,” said Annette Massari, a planner with Cumberland County Planning and Inspections.

The Spring Lake Plan Area is bounded to the west by Fort Bragg, to the south by Fort Bragg, Johnson Farm Road, Elliot Farm Road, and Elliot Bridge Road, to the east by parcel lines between Elliot Bridge Road and Ramsey Street, and to the north by the Harnett County line.

The process of creating a new land use plan begins with public input from as many stakeholders as possible through in-person meetings and online engagement. Planning staff uses public input, area research, and planning knowledge to draft a plan which is then shared with the public for further input. Once a final version of the plan is written, it is presented for adoption at a series of public meetings to the Joint Planning Board, Town Aldermen, and County Commissioners. Once adopted, the Spring Lake Area Visioning the Future plan will replace the existing plan for the Spring Lake area.

The mailing list for the Spring Lake Area Visioning the Future plan is based on property owners listed in Cumberland County tax records. Property owners are encouraged to share information with renters in the community.

For more information about Cumberland County Planning and Inspections and comprehensive planning, go to cumberlandcountync.gov/departments/planning-group/planning-and-inspections.