President Obama today signed a stimulus package that includes several provisions designed to stimulate the housing market, including an $8,000 tax credit for those who purchase homes for principal residence within one year of the bill’s enactment. This tax credit would not have to be repaid.

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 also expands tax-credits for energy-efficient doors and windows through 2010.

The legislation also offers several other provisions designed to stimulate the residential construction market, including the following. It would:

– Increase bonus depreciation and Section 179 small business expensing;

– Allow a five-year carry back for net operating losses;

– Provide $2 billion in gap financing for the Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) program and accelerate credit claims for LIHTC investors;

– Provide up to a 10-year deferral for income taxes arising due to cancelled or restructured business debt;

– Extend the New Markets Tax Credit; and

– Provide an Alternative Minimum Tax patch for 2009.

The Fix Housing First Coalition had hoped the stimulus package would remove the repayment requirement of the current first-time homebuyer $7,500 tax credit, increase it, and would structure the tax credit so that it would be provided at closing-and therefore could be used as a downpayment (CLICK HERE for related story.)

Some think the stimulus package is already making some industry representatives more optimistic as they look to the future. (CLICK HERE for a related story from the New York Times, which cites the industry’s own Serious Materials as an example of this optimism.)


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