• January 30, 2015

    Today’s Federal Register contains the new HUD Interim Rule implementing the Housing Trust Fund (HTF). The Interim Rule establishes regulations governing HTF administration and the allocation formula for grant distribution to states. It says HUD will consider public comment on the Interim Rule once funding is available and grantees gain experience administering the program.

  • January 28, 2015
    Congress Seal.jpg

    Senior House Financial Services Committee member Ed Royce (R-CA), introduced legislation (the Pay Back the Taxpayers Act of 2015) yesterday that would prevent Government-Sponsored Enterprises Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (the GSEs) from directing funds to the Housing Trust Fund and the Capital Magnet Fund. Royce signaled his intention to introduce the bill while questioning Federal Housing Finance Agency Director Mel Watt at a Financial Services Committee hearing held yesterday.

  • January 28, 2015
    House of Representatives.gif

    Mel Watt, the director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), appeared before a House Financial Services Committee hearing yesterday. During the hearing, Republican and Democratic Committee members engaged Director Watt and each other over recent FHFA actions to increase Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s support for affordable housing.

  • January 22, 2015
    Harvard JCHS.JPG

    As mentioned in Tuesday’s State of the Union address, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) announced that it will lower costs of government mortgages by reducing the annual Mortgage Insurance Premium (MIP) rate on most of its new single family home loans by 50 basis points, beginning on January 26. This left many wondering what exactly this means for borrowers and, in particular, what effect it might have on first-time homebuyers who make up a high portion of FHA borrowers and who largely remain on the sidelines.

  • January 14, 2015

    Declaring 2015 “A Year of Housing Opportunity,” HUD Secretary Julián Castro said yesterday that more must be done to promote affordable homeownership. Delivering a speech at the National Press Club, Castro told the audience that mortgage lending standards have gotten too tight, preventing many creditworthy borrowers from taking out a home loan. He said that the Administration would take action to ensure that more Americans could purchase a home.

  • January 9, 2015

    President Obama announced in a speech yesterday in Phoenix, Arizona that the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) will be reducing the annual premiums it charges for single-family loans by 50 basis points, from 1.35 percent of the loan amount to .85 percent of the loan amount. The reduction is expected to go into effective sometime this month. HUD has indicated that FHA will publish a Mortgagee Letter detailing the new pricing structure shortly.

  • December 23, 2014

    Earlier today, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) released a statement clarifying that it would not allow either Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac to purchase single-family home loans that are subject to a primary lien assessed through a Property Assessment Clean Energy lending program (PACE). Consequently, borrowers with a first-lien PACE loan are not able to refinance into a mortgage guaranteed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. In addition, neither firm will guarantee a loan used to purchase a home that has such a first-lien loan already placed on it.

  • December 15, 2014

    On December 13, the Senate passed the FY 2015 omnibus appropriations bill, H.R. 83. The House approved the same bill on December 11 and the President is expected to sign the bill soon. The omnibus is a package of 11 FY 2015 spending bills, providing funding through the end of FY 2015 (September 30, 2015) for federal agencies, including HUD and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Federally funded agencies have been operating under CRs since the fiscal year began on October 1.

  • December 11, 2014

    This morning, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) announced it is directing Government-Sponsored Enterprises Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to begin setting aside and allocating funds to the Housing Trust Fund and the Capital Magnet Fund.

  • December 10, 2014

    Last night, House appropriators unveiled the FY 2015 omnibus, a package of 11 new FY 2015 spending bills, including bills funding HUD and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for the remainder of the fiscal year. We expect the House to vote on the legislation December 11, and Senate leaders indicate the Senate will vote on the House-passed bill soon thereafter.