You have heard the old expression, “There’s no place like home,” haven’t you?  Well, there’s no bill like the HOME Act of 2009.  That’s my legislation, which I have just introduced, and HOME stands for “Home Ownership Moves the Economy.”  It is my attempt to jump start housing sales, by not only extending the current $8,000 tax credit for first-time homebuyers, but expanding its scope to all home buyers.  In addition, there would be no income limit on who would be eligible for the tax credit, but we do keep the $8,000 tax credit cap in place.

H.R. 2801 is simple in nature, but could have widespread impact on our struggling U.S. economy.  The main features of the bill include:

· Extending the credit through January 1, 2011 (currently, the credit only applies to purchases made between April 8, 2008 and December 1, 2009);

· Repealing of the limitation based on modified gross income (currently, the credit would “phase out” for singles making more than $75,000 and couples making more than $150,000); income limitations aren’t necessary if the credit is capped at $8,000;

· Extending waiver of the recapture provision.  Under current law, the tax credit for purchases made in 2009 does not have to be paid back unless the homeowner sells or ceases to use the property as a principal residence within 36 months of purchase.  Extending this waiver ensures that the credit isn’t treated as an interest-free loan, but still requires responsible homeownership.

As we have seen in the past, when the real estate market is thriving, so is the rest of our economy.  Now we are experiencing the dire consequences of a slumping housing market.  I believe our HOME Act of 2009 would convince many who are sitting on the fence right now to climb down and purchase a new home.  Our entire economy would be the beneficiary of these new sales.  Extending the tax credit to all home purchases could be just the boost our housing market needs.