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February 03, 2021

Reps. Aguilar and Vargas Introduce the Homeownership for Dreamers Act

Today, Reps. Pete Aguilar (CA-31) and Juan Vargas (CA-51) introduced the Homeownership for Dreamers Act. The legislation will ensure that Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) beneficiaries, or Dreamers, are eligible for Federal Housing Administration (FHA) home loans, home loans backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, and Rural Housing home loans.

Due to the lack of clarity surrounding DACA recipients’ eligibility under the Trump Administration, lenders held off on providing loans to these individuals. The Homeownership for Dreamers Act will help clarify eligibility for certain mortgages with federal credit enhancement.  Specifically, the bill will ensure that loan eligibility is not conditioned on the status of the mortgagor as a DACA beneficiary if all other eligibility criteria are met.

“Dreamers and their families are key members of our communities and should have the same opportunities to become homeowners as any other American. I’m proud to partner with Rep. Vargas on legislation to codify this policy so that Dreamers can utilize FHA loans, and I look forward to working with him and the Biden Administration to make sure this bill becomes law,” said Rep. Aguilar.

“I introduced this bill last Congress when the prior administration’s Department of Housing and Urban Development tried jeopardizing government-backed loan eligibility for Dreamers.  I am reintroducing the Homeownership for Dreamers Act to ensure that this cannot happen under a future administration,” said Rep. Vargas. “Dreamers and their families deserve the same access to opportunities offered to other Americans.  While DACA recipients are once again able to access these loans, a future administration or FHA leadership could attempt to bar such access if we don’t pass legislation that will clarify their eligibility.”

Last month, FHA put out a statement asserting that DACA recipients would be eligible to apply for FHA-backed mortgages effective January 19, 2021. According to their statement, FHA’s recognition of DACA recipients’ eligibility results from the entity’s recent decision to change the language in the FHA Handbook.

Rep. Aguilar serves as Vice Chair of the House Democratic Caucus, and is a Member of the House Appropriations Committee. Rep. Vargas serves on the Financial Services Committee.  Both are Members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus.