The Senate has approved an amendment by a 93-0 vote to help the Department of Housing and Urban Development sue and recover losses from multifamily owners that have defrauded the Federal Housing Administration insurance fund.The amendment to the HUD appropriations bill authorizes HUD to continue to pursue multifamily owners for equity skimming or other violations after the multifamily loan or foreclosed property has been sold. Sen. Christopher Bond, R-Mo., told his colleagues the amendment is necessary because of a 2000 U.S. district court decision in Missouri. "Without this authority, HUD and the Department of Justice have limited authority or no ability to recover assets from owners who have intentionally defrauded the government," Sen. Bond said. Separately, the Senate Banking Committee has voted to kill a grant program that allows HUD to sell rundown multifamily properties to local governments and provide rehabilitation grants of $40,000 per unit. It is expected to save $55 million a year, and it helps the committee meet its budget reduction target. Committee Democrats voted against ending the grant program.

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