Congress has restored the commitment authority for the Federal Housing Administration's (FHA) multifamily insured loan program that had expired Sept. 16. At press time, President Bush was expected to sign the measure into law.

The new insurance authority, as of press time, is expected to be available in fiscal year 2004, which started on Oct. 1.

The temporary shutdown affected commitments for FHA insurance on multifamily properties, condominiums, health-care facilities and a number of smaller single-family programs. The Department of Housing and Urban Development had estimated that between $700 million and $800 million worth of multifamily deals would have been affected by the shutdown.

In a related action, appropriators also agreed to include $3.9 billion in insurance authority in a continuing budget resolution that Congress is expected to pass, which will provide further authority for the program beyond Sept. 30.