Rep. Juan Vargas, D-San Diego, introduced a bill Wednesday to ensure recipients of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals are eligible for federal home loans, home loans backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac and real estate loans for rural housing.
The Home Ownership Law for Dreamersco-authored with Rep. Pete Aguilar, D-Redlands, aims to clarify and protect eligibility to receive home loans from DACA recipients – also known as Dreamers.
Vargas said that due to the lack of clarity surrounding Dreamers’ eligibility under the Trump administration, lenders have delayed making loans available to these individuals.
“I introduced this bill in the last Congress when the previous administration’s Department of Housing and Urban Development attempted to compromise eligibility for government-backed loans for Dreamers,” he said. .
“I am reintroducing the Home Ownership Act for Dreamers to ensure this cannot happen under a future administration. Dreamers and their families deserve the same access to opportunity as other Americans. While beneficiaries of the DACA can once again access these loans, a future administration or FHA leadership may attempt to prohibit such access if we do not pass legislation that will clarify their eligibility,” Vargas continued.
The law is intended to help clarify eligibility for certain federal credit-enhanced mortgages. Specifically, the bill will ensure that loan eligibility is not conditional on the mortgagor’s status as a DACA beneficiary if all other eligibility criteria are met.
Last month, the Federal Housing Administration said DACA recipients would be eligible to apply for FHA-backed mortgages beginning Jan. 19. According to the statement, the FHA’s recognition of the eligibility of DACA recipients results from the entity’s recent decision to change the FHA Handbook.
“Dreamers and their families are key members of our communities and should have the same homeownership opportunities as any other American,” Aguilar said. “I am proud to join Rep. Vargas on legislation to codify this policy so dreamers can use FHA loans, and I look forward to working with him and the Biden administration to ensure that this bill becomes law.
Vargas sits on the Financial Services Committee. Both Aguilar and Vargas are members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus.
Vargas represents California’s 51st congressional district, which includes southern San Diego County, all of Imperial County, and all of California’s US-Mexico border. Vargas was first elected to the US House of Representatives in 2012 and is currently serving his fifth term in Congress.