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The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) administers single-family and multifamily mortgage insurance programs within the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). It provides mortgage insurance for the purchase of single- and multifamily housing targeted to low and moderate-income families. FHA insures lenders against losses in case of mortgage default, enabling private industry to construct and rehabilitate multifamily housing, single-family homes, and assisted living facilities for low and moderate-income families and individuals. FHA plays an indispensable role in extending home financing to low-income homebuyers and other traditionally under-served populations.
 
HFAs and FHA Insurance
State HFAs use FHA single-family mortgage insurance in combination with Mortgage Revenue Bonds (MRBs) and other funding sources to finance modestly priced homes for first-time homebuyers. HFAs will often provide down payment assistance in connection with FHA-insured loans to help responsible homeowners who cannot afford a large down payment.
 
FHA Reform
During the recent economic crisis, FHA's lending increased substantially as it played a countercyclical role in helping to boost the weakened housing market. Partly as a result of this increased role, the FHA's single-family programs have recently experienced financial difficulties, causing some to push for strong returns to FHA's homeownership lending. 
NCSHA supports efforts to help FHA shore up its fiscal balance, but cautions policymakers to be careful not to overreach and price responsible low-and moderate income borrowers FHA traditionally serves out of the housing market. 
 
Helpful link: HUD's FHA Web Page

NCSHA Blog Posts

  • August 26, 2014
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    The Bipartisan Policy Center hosted a regional housing forum in Idaho on August 21, 2014, featuring discussions on housing finance reform, the Housing Credit, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), and rural housing.

  • June 18, 2014
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    On June 17, San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro, President Obama's nominee for HUD Secretary, appeared before the Senate Banking Committee and answered questions about his plans for HUD. During the hearing, Senators asked Castro about housing finance reform and the soundness of the Federal Housing Administration's (FHA) finances.

    News

    • June 7, 2012
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      The National Council of State Housing Agencies (NCSHA) urged Congress today to strengthen FHA’s affordable multifamily lending capacity by enhancing its already successful partnership with state Housing Finance Agencies (HFA). NCSHA advocated for authorizing Ginnie Mae to securitize Federal Housing Administration (FHA)-insured multifamily loans under the FHA-HFA Risk-Sharing program to help address the nation’s growing need for rental housing. These remarks were made during testimony before the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Insurance, Housing and Community Opportunity hearing on FHA multifamily mortgage insurance programs.

    • June 7, 2012
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      The National Council of State Housing Agencies (NCSHA) urged Congress today to strengthen FHA’s affordable multifamily lending capacity by enhancing its already successful partnership with state Housing Finance Agencies (HFA). NCSHA advocated for authorizing Ginnie Mae to securitize Federal Housing Administration (FHA)-insured multifamily loans under the FHA-HFA Risk-Sharing program to help address the nation’s growing need for rental housing. These remarks were made during testimony before the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Insurance, Housing and Community Opportunity hearing on FHA multifamily mortgage insurance programs.

      Events

      • January 9, 2011
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        The Institute's four program-specific conferences will strengthen your understanding of program fundamentals and explore advanced techniques for administering the Low Income Housing Tax Credit; the HOME Investment Partnerships program; Mortgage Revenue Bonds, Federal Housing Administration and rural housing mortgage insurance; and HUD's Performance-Based Section 8 Contract Administration initiative.

      • January 10, 2010
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        The Institute's four program-specific conferences will strengthen your understanding of program fundamentals and explore advanced techniques for administering the Low Income Housing Tax Credit; the HOME Investment Partnerships program; Mortgage Revenue Bonds, Federal Housing Administration and rural housing mortgage insurance; and HUD's Performance-Based Section 8 Contract Administration initiative.

        FHA Insurance - Resources