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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

  • January 12, 2017
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    Earlier today, HUD Secretary-Designate Dr. Ben Carson appeared before the Senate Banking Committee for his nomination hearing. He released this statement, commenting on the strong connection between housing and health, stressing the importance of deregulation, praising homeownership, and supporting continued efforts to tackle homelessness.

  • January 9, 2017
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    The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) announced this morning that it will be reducing the annual mortgage insurance premium it charges for the vast majority of single-family loans it insures by .25 percent. The reduced premiums, which are outlined in a Mortgagee Letter, will take effect for loans closed as of January 27.

    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

      • December 12, 2016
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        The National Council of State Housing Agencies (NCSHA) is a national nonprofit, nonpartisan organization created by the nation’s state Housing Finance Agencies (HFAs) to advance through advocacy and education their efforts to provide affordable housing to those who need it. NCSHA’s priorities, adopted annually by its Board of Directors after consultation with all state HFAs, set the agenda for NCSHA’s advocacy before Congress, the Administration, and the federal agencies concerned with housing, including HUD, USDA, and the Treasury, as well as its business activities.

      • November 15, 2016

        The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) today released its annual report to Congress on the financial condition of the Federal Housing Administration’s Mutual Mortgage Insurance (MMI) Fund. The independent actuarial analysis shows the MMI Fund’s capital ratio grew by $3.8 billion and now stands at 2.32 percent—the second consecutive year since 2008 that FHA’s reserve ratio exceeded the congressionally required 2 percent threshold.