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The House has adopted an amendment by Rep. Bill Orton, D-Utah, to allow parents to lend to their children the down payment needed for a Federal Housing Administration mortgage.

"Study after study shows that the biggest impediment to homeownership is the down-payment requirement," Orton said."Frequently the only way young families in Utah can meet this down-payment requirement is to combine FHA low down-payment loans with financial assistance from their parents," he said.

However, FHA rules have prohibited such parental loans in an effort to help ensure that prospective homeowners are financially capable of meeting mortgage payments themselves.

Orton said, "It is anti-family and anti-homeownership for the federal government to make it illegal for parents to lend their children money for a down payment.. . . I am very pleased that the House adopted my amendment to end this foolish prohibition."

It was added to the annual appropriations bill for the Veterans Affairs and Housing and Urban Affairs departments and independent agencies. The bill now goes to the Senate.

The House also adopted two other Orton amendments. One was to simplify the FHA down-payment formula. Another was to allow FHA mortgage lenders to issue their own mortgage certificates, which Orton said would save administrative costs and lower closing costs.