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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

NC Eviction Moratorium Expires June 30, 2021

Council of State Votes on Executive Order 206 Should End Moratorium on Evictions

Jun 29, 2021

(Raleigh, N.C.) – Having reviewed responses from other North Carolina Council of State (COS) members, State Treasurer Dale R. Folwell, CPA, confirmed today that there was not enough support on the COS to extend the moratorium on evictions that was part of Executive Order 206. This will allow property owners to work with their tenants to find reasonable solutions to rent payments without government intervention. Treasurer Folwell praised the action, saying that by lifting the eviction moratorium more housing might become available as property owners have greater certainty that their expenses will be met through timely rent payments.  

Originally issued in October 2020, and most recently extended in March of this year, the moratorium on evictions was set to expire on June 30. It is based on a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention national moratorium issued last fall. Even though Treasurer Folwell supported the original order, he did not support the three extensions and recently asked the governor to let the executive order expire at the end of the month. 

“Letting this order expire pushes the power back to the people to make these types of decisions,” Treasurer Folwell said. “What was originally an act of COVID now exists solely as an act of the state. Now, property owners can work with tenants on equitable solutions that are unique to each situation without a ‘one-sizes-fits-all’ government-mandated order. In turn, property owners – especially small property owners – will feel more confident in making more housing available because they know they have a much higher probability of recouping their costs for mortgage payments, property taxes, maintenance and repairs.” 

Treasurer Folwell noted that as a child of a single mother, his family financially struggled when he was growing up. However, their landlord gave them the “benefit of the doubt,” working with them so they could continue to have shelter.  

“I want to thank the other members of the Council of State who voted to end the moratorium,” Treasurer Folwell said. “As Gov. Martin always said, ‘doing right is never wrong’ and this was the right thing to do.”  

The North Carolina Department of State Treasurer (DST) administers the employee retirement systems for more than 950,000 public workers, along with their 401(k), 457 and 403(b) plans. DST manages the pension plans’ investments currently totaling $120 billion. It also oversees the State Health Plan, which provides health care coverage to more than 750,000 teachers, state employees, retirees, current and former lawmakers, state university and community college personnel, and their dependents. Fiscal assistance and expertise are provided by the department to local governmental units by aiding them in the sale of local government debt obligations and in maintaining sound budgeting, accounting and reporting procedures. The department also administers the NC Cash unclaimed property database. 

For additional information:

Press Line
[email protected]
866-622-2741

Bethany (Eastover area) Community Input Meeting Regarding Land Use Plan

News Release Full Story

Drop-In Public Meeting for Bethany Area Land Use Plan

Jun 15, 2021

The Cumberland County Planning & Inspections Department will hold a drop-in public meeting regarding the Bethany Area Land Use Draft Plan. The purpose of the meeting is to hear and answer public comments or concerns. The meeting will take place on Tuesday, June 29 from 6 to 8 p.m. at Center Baptist Church at 4980 Wade-Stedman Road, Wade, NC 28395.

The plan, which reviews current conditions, such as demographics, zoning, and natural environments, is designed to guide future land use decision making and development of the area.

“We’re encouraging all residents and interested parties to attend this meeting,” Planning & Inspections Director Rawls Howard said. “Staff and appointed officials will consult this plan when making future recommendations and decisions for this area on rezoning cases and ordinance updates.”

The Bethany area is the last small area without an adopted detailed land use plan within Cumberland County. The Bethany plan area is located within the northeast portion of the County, approximately 10 miles east of Fayetteville. This area comprises approximately 11,204 acres of land and is defined on the south by Oak Grove Church Road; on the west by Wade-Stedman Road; on the north by N.C. Highway 13 (Goldsboro Road); and on the east by the South River/Sampson County.

The draft plan can be found at co.cumberland.nc.us/departments/planning-group/planning/comprehensive-planning/current-planning-efforts. For more information, call Planning & Inspections at 910-678-7629. The office in the Historic Courthouse at 130 Gillespie St. in downtown Fayetteville.

Bethany Area Boundary Map

Leadership Sanford Program Seeks Applications

By Meg Moss – Sanford Chamber Executive Director

The Chamber Leadership Sanford program began in 1999 and was developed to provide a continuous, diverse supply of creative leaders to our community by developing participants’ knowledge of the region and providing them the opportunity for meaningful action.

The Leadership Sanford program begins this September and runs until June. Participants meet one day per month though out the nine-month program. The sessions give participants an in-depth look at a range of topics of community interest and importance by experts and community leaders. Topics are designed to provide both personal development and community enrichment.

Some of the objectives of the program:

  • Select highly qualified potential and emerging leaders who are most likely to give to the community through service and have the potential to assume expanded responsibility
  • To provide participants with the knowledge necessary to create a deeper understanding of our community and the boards
  • participate in community work
  • Offer their services in government and non-profit organizations

Applications for Leadership Sanford are now being accepted. Find out more about the program, and apply at wwww.growsanfordnc.com/leadership/

Rental Assistance Available in Fayetteville/Cumberland County

 
   
Fayetteville Cumberland Emergency Rental Assistance Program launched The City of Fayetteville and Cumberland County’s Emergency Rental Assistance Program launched June 1.
The goal is to distribute money received through the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 to eligible residents who are unable to pay rent and utilities due to economic constraints from the COVID-19 pandemic.
A total of $10,119,409 has been allocated to the City and County and is available to support the program. Residents of Fayetteville and Cumberland County who are renters needing assistance to cover past, current or upcoming rent or utility payments may apply online at fayettevillecumberlandRAP.com, by phone at 888-495-7710, or in-person by scheduling an appointment through the Customer Call Center at 888-495-7710. 
Hours of Operation are Monday – Saturday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. The program will operate through Dec. 31, 2021, or until all available money is disbursed, whichever comes first.

Applicants can apply once to receive assistance. Money from the Rental Assistance Program can go toward current and past due rent as well as current and past due utilities, internet and home energy costs dated no earlier than March 13, 2020.
To be eligible, applicants must meet the following criteria:
Resident of the City of Fayetteville or Cumberland County, N.C.; Between March 13, 2020 and the present, one or more individuals within the household qualified for unemployment benefits or experienced a reduction in household income, incurred significant costs, or experienced other financial hardship due, directly or indirectly, to the COVID-19 pandemic;

One or more individuals within the household can demonstrate a risk of experiencing homelessness or housing instability; and Household income is at or below 80% of the Area Median Income (Please note that households with an income at or below 50% will be prioritized during the first 30 days of the program to ensure funding is made available to our most vulnerable populations) Landlords may work with their tenants to complete an application. Visit fayettevillecumberlandRAP.com to access the program application.  

   

City of Fayetteville Seeking Positions for Boards & Commissions

City announces Boards and Commissions openings Fayetteville residents are invited to apply for upcoming City of Fayetteville Boards and Commissions vacancies. Vacancies are listed below:
Board of Appeals – 3 Vacancies
Ethics Commission – 1 Vacancy
Fayetteville Advisory Committee on Transit (FACT) – 3 Vacancies Fayetteville City Planning Commission – 4 Vacancies
Fayetteville City Zoning Commission – 3 Vacancies
Fayetteville-Cumberland Economic Development Board – 1 Vacancy
Human Relations Commission- 3 Vacancies
Fayetteville-Cumberland Parks and Recreation Advisory Commission – 1 Vacancy Fayetteville Redevelopment Board – 1 Vacancy Fayetteville
Public Works Commission – 1 Vacancy
Joint City and County Appearance Commission – 3 Vacancies
Joint Fayetteville-Cumberland County Senior Citizens Advisory Commission – 6 Vacancies Linear Park, Inc. – 1 Vacancy
Metropolitan Housing Authority – 3 Vacancies
(MAYOR APPOINTED) Millennial Advisory Commission – 6 Vacancies
Public Arts Commission – 2 Vacancies
Stormwater Advisory Board – 4 Vacancies
Wrecker Review Board – 1 Vacancy
Board of Advisors for the Woodpeckers Capital Reserve Account – 6 Vacancies

Applications will be accepted until 11:59 p.m. on July 31, 2021. All qualified applications will be presented to the Appointments Committee in August 2021.

The Fayetteville City Council will approve Boards and Commissions members at a regular meeting in September 2021. The City will accept applications via the City website at www.fayettevillenc.gov. Residents should scroll over “Government” and choose “Boards and Commissions” under the “City Council” section.  

Future Road Improvements to Murchison Road Proposed by NCDOT

The project logo U-4900: Murchison Road – Fayetteville

The N.C. Department of Transportation is proposing improvements to N.C. 210/Murchison Road between I-295 and the U.S. 401 Bypass in Fayetteville.  

Vicinity Map:

Interactive Study Area Map

Area in which environmental studies are conducted for the project

https://www.google.com/maps/d/embed?mid=1z_Ii1PyUupBOHfw6E-TY7Sen4pGxTmRd​

Project Overview

Murchison Road (N.C. 210) is an important historical and cultural transportation connection between downtown Fayetteville and Fort Bragg. The route connects military personnel, civilian residents, and visitors to destinations within the community and to points north and west of the city.

Since the opening of the outer loop (I-295), Murchison Road has become a more prominent gateway into downtown Fayetteville. Now, about 25,000 vehicles travel Murchison Road between the outer loop and the U.S. 401 Bypass (Pamalee Drive / Country Club Drive). The corridor is also heavily used by people walking and using public transit. 

To keep people moving efficiently and safely in the corridor, the N.C. Department of Transportation proposes to improve approximately two miles of Murchison Road between I-295 and just south of the U.S. 401 Bypass. The purpose of this project is to improve the traffic operations and mobility for Murchison Road. 

Project Highlights

The purpose of this project is to 

Improvements proposed as part of this project include:

  • Four travel lanes on Murchison Road from I-295 to just to just south of the U.S. 401 Bypass (two northbound and two southbound lanes)
  • A 10-foot multi-use path to the eastern side of Murchison Road
  • A new 5-foot sidewalk/replace existing sidewalk on the western side of Murchison Road
  • Construction of a “quadrant left” design at the intersection of Murchison Road and the U.S. 401 Bypass 
  • Construction of “continuous flow Intersections” throughout the corridor

​Project Overview Video


What is a Quadrant Left Intersection? 

  • A quadrant left intersection design reduces congestion and travel time through busy intersections by prohibiting all left turns at the main intersection.
  • Left-turning drivers are rerouted to a connector road that allows them to go left by making a series of right turns.
  • The traffic signal allows for through traffic and right-turning traffic only, which moves all traffic through the intersection faster.

Watch this short video to get more information on Quadrant Left Intersections: 

Quadrant Left Intersection on Project

Murchison Road Southbound                                  Murchison Road Northbound