Bill targets reduction in foreign urban real estate investment

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) has reintroduced a measure he said would reduce foreign investment in the urban real estate market while bolstering investment in affordable housing.

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Rubio noted the Home Advantage for American Families Act stems from much of the foreign investments in urban real estate being connected to illicit activity and the need to restore a balance in housing markets for local residents who want to own a home and raise families.

“Families in South Florida are struggling to find affordable housing as billions of dollars pour into local real estate, much of it connected to illicit foreign activity,” Rubio said. “To have a strong nation, we need strong communities, and to have strong communities, we must have strong families. This bill would combat illicit finance in foreign real estate investment and increase affordable housing investment in South Florida, two important steps in tackling this problem.”

Bill features, per officials, include a provision authorizing the Treasury Department to issue reports on behalf of the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) for residential real estate transactions within the top 15 Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs) to identify the natural identities of foreign buyers; increasing the Foreign Investment in Real Property Act (FIRPTA) of 1980 withholding tax on residential real estate to 30 percent for both foreign corporations and foreign individuals; and providing an additional 10 percent of base-funding set-aside of the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LITHC) for single-family home construction within Qualified Census Tracts (QCTs) to help states create more affordable housing opportunities that can accommodate a family.