NY Rep’s bill would make COVID-19 relief funds tax exempt if used toward home down payment

WASHINGTON (July 22, 2020) – The National Association of Realtors® called on members of the U.S. House of Representatives to cosponsor and support Rep. Sean Maloney’s (NY-D) First Time Homebuyer Pandemic Savings Act. The legislation would allow first-time buyers to withdraw funds from their retirement accounts under the umbrella of coronavirus-related distributions to use toward the purchase of a home.

“While various barriers have stood in the way of homeownership for younger generations, COVID-19 has pushed the American dream further out of reach for countless families and individuals by no fault of their own,” said NAR President Vince Malta, broker at Malta & Co., Inc., in San Francisco, CA. “This legislation would make a tremendous difference to those struggling to save for the down payment on their all-important first home. With homeownership remaining one of the best and most sustainable ways for Americans to build wealth, the nation’s 1.4 million Realtors® applaud Rep. Maloney for his leadership.”

Rep. Maloney’s bill specifically allows for up to $25,000 of coronavirus-related retirement distributions to be tax exempt and penalty free if put toward the down payment of a first home. It also extends the coronavirus-related distribution sunset clause to December 31, 2021.

Home prices in most U.S. markets have climbed as the inventory of available homes has tightened. With price constraints compounding with other factors, saving for a down payment has become exceedingly difficult for many younger Americans and has caused the nation’s homeownership rate to fall well below the historical average.

“Making sure the next generation of homeowners have the resources they need to buy their first home is going to play a big role in our economic recovery. This bill is a smart, innovative way to bring new opportunity to new homebuyers and help young families get one step closer to realizing the American dream,” said Rep. Maloney.

The National Association of Realtors® is America’s largest trade association, representing more than 1.4 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.