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G-Fee hikes could mean $15 a month more.

The law signed by President Obama two weeks ago to extend the payroll tax cut and maintain Medicare payments and unemployment benefits uses increases in the fees charged by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to guarantee mortgages to help offset its costs. The law also uses funds from premiums charged for insurance on FHA loans. As a result, the Federal Housing Finance Agency has directed Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to increase their guarantee fees effective April 1 and will remain in effect through September 30, 2021.

The National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) opposed the increase in fees to pay for non-housing-related purposes. Lenders who choose to pass this increase on to borrowers will likely increase the rate offered to a borrower by .1 percent sometime before April 1. Analysts estimate the increase in cost over 30 years to be between $4,000 and $5,400 on a $200,000 loan, or $11-15 per month.

FHFA’s Statement

NAR’s Letter Opposing the Increase

Charitable Foundation Trustee Lydia Kou presented a $2,000 check to Myllicent Hamilton, board director of the Westwind 4-H Handicapped Riding Program, a 2011 grant recipient, at this morning's Palo Alto District tour meeting.

The Silicon Valley REALTORS® Charitable Foundation, the charitable arm of the Silicon Valley Association of REALTORS® (SILVAR), donated $53,500 in the form of grants and scholarships in 2011. The Charitable Foundation is a trust which makes grants available to organizations from donations by members and friends of the local trade association.

The 2011 grant recipients are non-profit organizations that help homeless and low-income individuals and families in Silicon Valley. They include Assistant League of Los Gatos/Saratoga, Community Health Awareness Council (CHAC), Edgewood Center for Children & Families, Friends of Deer Hollow Farm, Housing Industry Foundation, JW House, JustREAD (on campus of Mountain View/Los Altos Union High School District), Partners for New Generations, Peninsula Association for Retarded Children & Adults (PARCA), ProjectREAD – Menlo Park, West Valley Community Services, Westwind 4-H Handicapped Riding Institute and YWCA of Silicon Valley.

As part of its annual Scholarship Program, the Charitable Foundation likewise presented a $1,000 grant to each of 18 graduating seniors from public high schools in Silicon Valley. The Foundation has been assisting students with the scholarship grants for the past 12 years. The Charitable Foundation grants included donations from SILVAR’s districts to their local community nonprofit organizations.

“Like last year, our local nonprofits have been hit hard by the weak economy and continue to need our help. We thank our members and friends for being so generous in their support of the Foundation this year,” said John Tripp, 2012 president of the Silicon Valley REALTORS® Charitable Foundation. “We urge our members to continue their support this year, so we can continue our commitment to the welfare and prosperity of communities where we live and work.”

The Charitable Foundation trustees meet quarterly to evaluate grant applications. Serving on the 2012 Silicon Valley REALTORS® Charitable Foundation Board of Trustees are Tripp, Lehua Greenman, Jimmy Kang, Lydia Kou, Carolyn Miller and Susan Sweeley.

Non-profit organizations operating within the areas served by the Silicon Valley Association of REALTORS® are eligible for grant consideration provided they meet the evaluation criteria below. Grant applicants are evaluated on the following guidelines:

• The community need for the expenditure, as well as the number of people who will be served;
• The impact on the recipient organization;
• The location of the community served; (Although requests for state, national and international projects are considered, preference is given to projects with a more local base.)
• The financial soundness and efficiency of the organization;
• Accuracy and completeness of the application;
• The structure of volunteer organization and level of volunteer support; and
• Appropriate use of the Foundation’s previous grants (if applicable).

For more information and details about the Charitable Foundation grants, visit www.silvar.org or call SILVAR at (408) 200-0100.

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