The Federal Housing Administration has announced another shutdown of its multifamily, 203(k) home renovation, reverse mortgage, and condominium and loan insurance programs.This is the fourth time since last summer that the FHA's General Insurance/Special Risk Insurance fund has shut down because it ran out of commitment authority. While the rest of the federal government is operating on a continuing resolution through Jan. 31, Congress has earmarked a specific dollar amount of commitment authority to keep the GI/SRI loan programs going. In early December, Congress provided $3.9 billion in new loan-commitment authority, but that will be exhausted "on or before the close of business" Jan. 14, according to the Department of Housing and Urban Development. When Congress returns on Jan. 20, the Senate is expected to vote on final passage of an $820 billion omnibus appropriations bill that includes funding for HUD and new loan-commitment authority. However, the omnibus bill is in trouble because of divisive matters like overtime rules and media issues. It was recently revealed that a rider in the bill prevents the Agriculture Department from taking certain actions to prevent the spread of mad cow disease. Congress may have to pass another continuing resolution to restart the GI/SRI loan programs. (The FHA single-family program is not affected by the shutdown.)

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