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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

  • February 12, 2016
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    The House Financial Services Subcommittee on Housing and Insurance held a hearing yesterday to examine the current and future status of the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) and its affordable housing programs. The hearing included testimony from Edward Golding, who currently oversees FHA as the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Office of Housing.

  • January 29, 2016
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    On January 28, HUD announced that the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) will reduce its multifamily insurance rates to stimulate the production and rehabilitation of affordable rental housing. These rate reductions, effective April 1, will apply to the FHA-HFA Risk-Sharing program and other FHA multifamily housing programs that help finance properties housing low-income families and developments installing energy-efficient systems or building within federal energy guidelines. Multifamily insurance rates for financing of market-rate properties that are not energy efficient will remain unchanged.

    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.

      FHA Insurance - Resources

      • November 4, 2015

        HFAs have a unique perspective on federal housing and community development programs. As state entities, they understand their local needs and are able to design programs tailored to those needs that prioritize the most pressing challenges throughout their states.

        HUD programs are a crucial component of state efforts to address the affordable housing and housing-related needs of their residents and communities. These programs help families and individuals transform their lives by creating quality and sustainable living environments that lift families out of poverty and desperate situations; help children stay healthy and thrive in school; support seniors, people with special needs, and veterans; and house persons experiencing homelessness. They contribute to community revitalization by supporting good jobs, fostering business growth, building vital infrastructure, and promoting transportation solutions.

      • September 4, 2015

        On behalf of the State Housing Finance Agencies (HFAs) it represents, the National
        Council of State Housing Agencies (NCSHA) appreciates the opportunity to comment on the
        Federal Housing Administration’s (FHA) July 6 proposed rule that would establish a maximum
        timeline according to which mortgagees would have to file an insurance claim with FHA in order
        to receive insurance on a failed loan. We strongly urge HUD to reconsider this proposal.