September 30, 2015

Beyond Bricks and Sticks

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A weekly digest of current trends in housing and community development. The discussion examines topics from infrastructure to community fabric.


Fairlawn named one of 10 cheapest (yet great places) to live in Virginia

(RECAP: There’s a website that has a formula for finding the “best” place to live. And that website says Fairlawn – and a bit further down, Christiansburg – is one of the 10 cheapest (yet great places) to live in Virginia.)
http://www.southwesttimes.com/2015/09/fairlawn-named-one-of-10-cheapest-yet-great-places-to-live-in-virginia/

Congressional Budget Office Report on Federal Housing Assistance for Low-Income Households

(RECAP: CBO describes federal housing assistance to low-income households and how it has changed since 2000, provides information about the households that receive assistance, and assesses options for altering that assistance.)
http://goldrushcam.com/sierrasuntimes/index.php/news/local-news/4582-congressional-budget-office-report-on-federal-housing-assistance-for-low-income-households

New Fund Pairs Housing and Services Coordination

(RECAP: Several banks and philanthropic partners, led by The Kresge Foundation, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, KeyBank, and Goldman Sachs, have committed more than $70 million to launch the Strong Families Fund, the largest pilot pay-for-performance project to finance services coordination and affordable housing.)

Opinions on Housing                                                                       

The views and opinions expressed in Opinions on Housing are solely those of the original authors, and do not necessarily represent those of VHDA, our stakeholders or any/all contributors to this blog.

Aging in community

(RECAP: Aging is not an excuse for housing instability. Over the past three years, Enterprise Community Partners has published resources for the creation of healthy, affordable housing that will allow residents to age in their communities, including the 2015 Enterprise Green Communities Criteria and 2012 Universal Design Specifications.) 
http://www.nhcopenhouse.org/2015/09/aging-in-community.html

September 29, 2015

In Case You Missed It: A Look at Recent National Housing Policy News

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NeighborWorks Report Illustrates the Ongoing Success of National Foreclosure Mitigation Counseling Program

https://www.ncsha.org/blog/neighborworks-report-illustrates-ongoing-success-national-foreclosure-mitigation-counseling-program

On September 24, NeighborWorks America released its eleventh Congressional Report on the National Foreclosure Mitigation Counseling (NFMC) Program.  According to the report, NFMC participants, including 40 HFAs, have provided 1.9 million homeowners foreclosure mitigation counseling since the program was launched in December 2007.  An evaluation, conducted by the Urban Institute last year, found that NFMC counseling continues to have a positive effect on homeowners participating in the program. The evaluation found that homeowners receiving NFMC counseling were roughly 1.5 times more likely than those without counseling to not have their mortgage re-enter a troubled status after receiving a loan modification cure. The study also found that NFMC-counseled homeowners were almost three times more likely to receive a loan modification cure than non-counseled homeowners. Those NFMC-counseled homeowners who received a loan modification cure had their annual payment reduced by an average of $4,980.   VHDA has previously participated in the NeighborWorks program.  Currently, VHDA is not a grant participant, but uses the HUD Housing Counseling funds it receives to support comparable local foreclosure mitigation counseling programs.

House Financial Services Chairman Seeks Recommendations for Restructuring HUD and Improving the Delivery of Housing Resources

https://www.ncsha.org/blog/house-financial-services-chairman-seeks-recommendations-restructuring-hud-and-improving-delivery-housing-resources

In commemoration of the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)’s 50th anniversary, House Financial Services Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) has issued a call for ideas to reform HUD and modernize the delivery of federal housing assistance.  Proposals and recommendations will be accepted until November 1, 2015.  NCSHA will be submitting comments on behalf of our HFA members.  VHDA will be responding to Rep. Hensarling’s request by submitting comments through NCSHA.

Enterprise and JCHS Project Renter Burdens in 2025

http://blog.enterprisecommunity.com/2015/09/enterprise-project-burdens

Enterprise Community Partners and the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies (JCHS) have released “rojecting Trends in Severely Cost-Burdened Renters: 2015–2025,” which examines how demographic and economic trends over the next decade are likely to affect the near record number of renters with severe housing cost burdens—that is, paying more than half their income in rent. The bottom line:  assuming current economic conditions remain constant, the report expects demographic trends alone to increase the number of severely cost-burdened renters by 11 percent to 13.1 million in 2025, up from 11.8 million in 2015. On the other hand, if current trends continue, where rent gains outpace income growth, the number could reach 14.8 million. Even in the unlikely event that the next decade sees sustained gains in incomes relative to rents, the number would decline only slightly. In short, the renter affordability crisis is unlikely to abate and is more likely to get a whole lot worse.

Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Announcement

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The HCV Waiting Lists for Buchanan County and Dickenson County will open at 9 a.m. on Sept. 30, 2015, and close at 4 p.m. on Sept. 30, 2015.

The HCV Waiting List for the City of Radford will open at 9 a.m. on October 1, 2015, and close at 4 p.m. on Oct. 1, 2015.

The HCV Waiting List for Craig County / Floyd County / Giles County / Montgomery County / Pulaski County will open at 9 a.m. on Oct. 2, 2015, and close at 4 p.m. on Oct. 2, 2015.

For information on how to get on the waiting list, please visit: http://www.vhda.com/BusinessPartners/HCVPAgents/Documents/Waiting-List-Openings.pdf.

All other waiting lists are closed.

Understanding MCCs – How They Work

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While a Mortgage Credit Certificate from VHDA could save a qualified first-time homebuyer thousands of tax dollars, it's important to understand the requirements and limitations of MCCs. Our tools can help:

  • MCC Video - Our simple, animated video explains clearly how an MCC from VHDA works. Watch Video
  • MCC Educational Tools - Download a flyer, get tips for sharing MCC info on your own social media pages (including some suggested text for a post) and more. Get Tools
  • MCC Web Page - Get details including participating lenders (or how to become one), how to apply for an MCC, and contact info. Learn More

Questions? Email us at MCCInfo@VHDA.com.
© 2013 VHDA, All Rights Reserved. Please Review the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

September 28, 2015

Remember, It’s The Law! Five Things You Need To Know About Changes in Buying a Home

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Starting October 3, 2015, there will be significant changes to the homebuying process in the U.S. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) was established by Congress to improve consumer financial laws, and parts of these new laws will change the way homebuying disclosures are presented.

Here are five important things you need to know about these changes:

  1. The Good Faith Estimate is no more. This has been replaced by the Loan Estimate, a disclosure that helps consumers understand the key features, cost and risks of a mortgage loan. 
  2. Also gone is the Truth in Lending Disclosure. Now homebuyers receive an updated Loan Estimate and a Closing Disclosure, which helps them understand all of the cost of the purchase transaction.
  3. There are significant new laws in place to help protect consumers from predatory lenders. They include the Homeowners Equity Protection Act (HOEPA) and the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure (TRID), which integrates previous consumer disclosures. 
  4. There are new time limits in place, as well. Pay close attention to the distinctions in these limits. The Loan Estimate must be provided to consumers no later than three business days after the loan application is submitted. In this case, a business day is any day that the lender’s offices are open to the public. The Closing Disclosure must be provided to the consumer three business days before they close on the loan. In this case, a business day is any calendar day except Sunday and legal public holidays.
  5. One more document to know about is the Written List of Providers. This is a list of providers for a variety of services that homebuyers may shop for. It provides the type of service, estimated cost and contact information for the provider. Homebuyers are not required to use a provider from the list.

If you apply for a mortgage before these changes take effect, you will still use the current documents, including the Good Faith EstimateTruth In Lending Disclosure and HUD-1 Settlement Statement throughout the loan process and loan closing, even if it extends past the date of the change. But if you apply for the mortgage starting on the day the changes take effect, or after, you will use the new documents.

VHDA’s Homebuyer Education program (in-person and online classes) is being revised to reflect the CFPB’s new laws and system. For more details on these topics and many more, visit our Homeownership Education webpage.
© 2013 VHDA, All Rights Reserved. Please Review the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

September 23, 2015

Beyond Bricks and Sticks

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A weekly digest of current trends in housing and community development. The discussion examines topics from infrastructure to community fabric.


10 Keys to Making A Great City Plan

(RECAP: Too many city plans represent business-as-usual, sit on a shelf collecting dust, or miss the chance to reflect a truly game-changing moment in the direction of a city. Want your new city plan process to result in a great plan? Consider these 10 keys.)

Embedding Artists in City Planning Departments: An Intriguing Approach to Civic Engagement

(RECAP: In the city of Minneapolis, an experiment in civic engagement that “embeds” community artists in city planning departments is bearing fruit. Artists, it appears, have a knack for breaking down barriers and drawing residents into conversations about community assets and needs.)

MBA launches Know Before You Owe for homebuyers and mortgage lenders

(RECAP: The new Know Before You Owe or TILA RESPA Integrated Disclosure regulations from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau will go into effect on Oct. 3. These new, complex regulations will require new mortgage disclosure forms and will change the way that real estate transactions are processed and closed.

Opinions on Housing                                                                       

The views and opinions expressed in Opinions on Housing are solely those of the original authors, and do not necessarily represent those of VHDA, our stakeholders or any/all contributors to this blog.

Do we have the energy for low-income energy policy?

(RECAP: Energy efficiency made headlines this summer, but will new programs and policies actually help working families?)

September 22, 2015

Virginia Housing Directory - What is it? Where do I find it?

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Since 1992, VHDA has produced the Virginia Housing Directory as a resource to find organizations engaged in housing activities (i.e. non-profit organizations, federal and state agencies, and county and city resources).  This directory is a cooperative effort of VHDA and the agencies and organizations listed therein. The information captured provides the description, address, phone number, email address and area of services provided. The information is provided by each individual organization, which is solely responsible for their content.

If your organization is already listed, does it need updating? Would you like to be listed? If you answered yes to either of these questions, then please contact us at housingdirectory@vhda.com.

We hope you will use this valuable tool and join us in our goal to help Virginians obtain safe, decent and affordable housing that would otherwise be unaffordable for them.
© 2013 VHDA, All Rights Reserved. Please Review the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

September 21, 2015

Low-Income Housing Tax Credit Program Update

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We’d like to share the following update on our Low-Income Housing Tax Credit program.

  • Don’t forget to register for the 2016 Tax Credit Forum at the Westin Hotel on October 8, 2015 at 9:30 AM if you are planning to attend.  There will be no changes to the QAP only manual changes. The forum is being held just before the first session of the Virginia Housing Coalition’s Tax Credit conference. Attendance at the conference isn’t required to attend our forum and there is no cost for the forum.  However there is a cost for the Tax Credit conference and we encourage you to attend.  Please register for the conference soon if you plan to attend due to limited capacity at the conference.
  • On July 1, 2015 there were statutory changes to tenant relocation requirements.  Therefore we have updated the Relocation Guidelines which can now be found on the VHDA website.

We look forward to working with you next year. If you have any Low-Income Housing Tax Credit questions, please contact Jim Chandler at jim.chandler@vhda.com.

September 16, 2015

REMINDER - Join us at VMLA’s Annual Convention

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October 1 – 2, 2015  •  Newport News Marriott at City Center

The Virginia Mortgage Lenders Association (VMLA) annual convention is a great place to build your network and learn about issues impacting the mortgage industry. Be sure to stop by VHDA’s booth (look for our colorful “Reaching New Heights” balloon posters), and drop your business card in our bowl — you’ll be registered to receive news updates from VHDA and be entered in our drawing to win an awesome prize! For details about the convention, visit VMLA’s website.

Beyond Bricks and Sticks

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A weekly digest of current trends in housing and community development. The discussion examines topics from infrastructure to community fabric.

An interdisciplinary study, research and information resource on housing

(RECAP: The Virginia Center for Housing Research, the official housing research and information center Virginia, provides services to localities, the state, federal agencies, nonprofit organizations and for-profit businesses VCHR’s vision is to create and leverage cutting-edge research to improve the affordability, sustainability, and quality of housing.)
http://www.vchr.vt.edu/about-us/

Affordable Housing’s Forever Solution

(RECAP: Are community land trusts the answer for cities seeking neighborhood stability? Despite widespread interest in the model, its spread remains slow due in large part to the difficulties of obtaining the necessary levels of funding, staffing and political support to bring a land trust to scale.) 
https://nextcity.org/features/view/affordable-housings-forever-solution

Tiny House Design Floats Affordable Housing Over Parking Spaces

(RECAP: Elevate Structure, a Hawaiian tiny house company, envisions adding compact and affordable housing in cities around the U.S. — without sacrificing parking.)
https://nextcity.org/daily/entry/tiny-house-design-float-parking-lots-cities

September 15, 2015

In Case You Missed It: A Look at Recent National Housing Policy News

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Fannie Mae drops mortgage modification interest rate to lowest level ever

New rate takes effect on Sept. 15
http://www.housingwire.com/articles/35024-fannie-mae-drops-mortgage-modification-interest-rate-to-lowest-level-ever
After raising the benchmark interest rate for its standard modification program twice in the last three months, Fannie Mae is set to drop the benchmark rate back down to the lowest level it’s ever been.
Beginning Sept. 15, Fannie Mae will lower its required interest rate for standard modifications from 4.25% to 4%.  The standard modification rate has only been that low three other times since the modification interest rate was first established in Jan. 2012.  The only other times the standard modification interest rate has been 4% were in February and May of this year, as well as December 2012.


MBA launches Know Before You Owe for homebuyers and mortgage lenders

TRID is coming, you better be ready
http://www.housingwire.com/articles/35033-mba-launches-know-before-you-owe-for-homebuyers-and-mortgage-lenders
The Mortgage Bankers Association launched a set of resource guidelines to educate consumers, lenders and their business partners about the new Know Before You Owe or TILA RESPA Integrated Disclosure regulations from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau that will go into effect on Oct. 3, 2015.  These new, complex regulations will require new mortgage disclosure forms and will change the way that real estate transactions are processed and closed. It is the intent of these resources to help educate consumers, industry partners and service providers, and to speed the process of these transactions.  “MBA has worked closely with the CFPB to create these materials so that both consumers and the real estate community can comply with the new procedures in an efficient and smooth process,” said MBA President and CEO David Stevens. “Our industry has been preparing for these changes over the last several months and we are confident that everyone involved in the closing process will benefit as a result of these new rules.”


Urban Institute - Where is the private-label mortgage securitization market?

http://www.housingwire.com/articles/35041-urban-institute-where-is-the-private-label-mortgage-securitization-market
The Urban Institute's Housing Finance Policy Center has just released a new note: The Rebirth of Securitization: Where is the Private-label Securitization Market?  In her brief, Center Director Laurie Goodman explains why the private-label residential mortgage-backed securities market remains stagnant.  She also explores why this is problematic and what needs to happen to re-invigorate this critical piece of housing finance.   Here’s the abstract:  In the wake of the financial crisis, new securitization activity ground to a halt in all asset classes that did not have an implicit or explicit government guarantee. Though securitization has since resumed in most asset classes, including automobiles, credit cards, collateralized loan obligations (CLOs), and commercial mortgage-backed securities (CMBSs), the private-label residential mortgage-backed securities market remains stagnant. In this brief, we discuss why the residential mortgage market experience has been so different and provide guidance about what remains to be fixed.


MBA Releases White Paper on Information Security

https://www.mba.org/2015-press-releases/sept/mba-releases-new-white-paper-on-information-security
The Mortgage Bankers Association released a white paper that discusses information security risks facing the mortgage industry and basic security practices necessary to help mitigate risks.  The report, The Basic Components of an Information Security Program (http://mba.informz.net/MBA/data/images/15466_MBA_Technology_White_Paper.pdf), was authored by members of the MBA Residential Technology Forum Information Security Workgroup. The paper is intended to assist small and medium-sized entities that might need help in understanding and managing security risk.  It was released here at the MBA Risk Management, Quality Assurance & Fraud Prevention Forum.  "We realized that smaller firms might not have enough resources or expertise to keep abreast of the rapidly changing risks" said Shawn Malone, vice president of business compliance with Radian Group, Philadelphia, and chair of the MBA Information Security Workgroup.  "Our Workgroup identified a need for a security guide that non-technical individuals could use to help improve the security of their organization."

Board Update

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VHDA's Board of Commissioners is composed of 11 members, each appointed by the Governor of Virginia. We're pleased to announce the following recent updates:

  • Tim Chapman has been elected Chairman; Kit Hale is now past chair. 
  • Sarah Stedfast has been elected Vice Chair. 
  • Charlie McConnell and Kit Hale have both been re-appointed to the board for another four years.
  • Doug Fahl will continue to chair our Operations Committee. 
  • We bid a fond farewell to Jim Hyland (Ex-officio, Representative of DHCD Board). We wish Jim well in his new endeavors, and appreciate the service he has provided to our board.

Visit VHDA's website for more details about VHDA's Leadership.
© 2013 VHDA, All Rights Reserved. Please Review the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

September 9, 2015

In Case You Missed It: A Look at Recent National Housing Policy News

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Prospect of Another Shutdown Looms as Congress Girds for Fights Over Spending


http://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/08/us/politics/congress-girds-for-fights-over-spending-iran-and-planned-parenthood.html?_r=0
When Congress returns for business on Tuesday, lawmakers have scheduled a mere 12 legislative days to find a bipartisan compromise to keep the government open, vote on one of the most contentious foreign policy matters in a generation, reconcile the future of funding for Planned Parenthood and roll out the red carpet — and a few thousand folding chairs — to greet Pope Francis.
What could go wrong?  Ignoring the advice that one should never go to bed angry, members of Congress left for their home states in August with two major fights at full boil.  One dispute is over the Iran nuclear accord, which congressional Republicans and a number of Democrats oppose, set for debate in both chambers this week. Democrats, who have 36 votes in the Senate backing the accord, will try to add five more, which would allow them to block a Senate vote on a resolution to disapprove the deal. Democrats already have enough votes to sustain a veto of the resolution by President Obama, meaning that either way the Iran accord will go into effect.  The other fight is fiscal. Congress must come to a broad new agreement that lifts legally imposed spending caps — the preference of Mr. Obama — or, more likely, pass a short-term measure, known as a continuing resolution, to keep the lights on in government buildings for the rest of the year. Current spending laws expire on Oct. 1.

DOJ, CFPB Officials Warn More 'Redlining' Cases on Way


http://www.nationalmortgagenews.com/news/compliance/doj-cfpb-officials-warn-more-redlining-cases-on-way-1060564-1.html
The Justice Department is continuing to find cases of lenders steering minority borrowers into higher cost loans three years after the agency forced several large banks into landmark settlements cracking down on the practice, according to a top DOJ official.  "Based on what is on my docket right now, stayed tuned," said Steven Rosenbaum, chief of housing and civil enforcement at DOJ's civil rights division, during a fair housing conference on Wednesday. "There are still lenders who seem to think it is okay to steer minority borrowers to certain loan officers or certain brokers who they know will charge more."  Speaking at the conference, which was hosted by the Department of Housing and Urban Development, he noted that another "old nemesis" is making a comeback — redlining, the practice of lenders charging more for products or excluding altogether minorities within certain geographic areas.

Beyond Bricks and Sticks

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A weekly digest of current trends in housing and community development. The discussion examines topics from infrastructure to community fabric.


HUD’s Resource Locator latest service provided by agency’s enterprise geographic information system

(RECAP: This app and website lets you use a smartphone or computer to find local affordable housing opportunities, providing a resource that makes the process of assisting low-income buyers or renters a breeze.)

Enterprise A.C.T.I.O.N Campaign advocates for LIHTC

(RECAP: NHC member Enterprise Community Partners recently updated a set of advocacy fact sheets for the ACTION (A Call to Invest in Our Neighborhoods) Campaign. They were updated in August with the most recent available research from 2013, which demonstrates the positive impact LIHTC funds have had on producing and preserving affordable housing, economic impacts and job creation.)

Charted: How Housing Policy Impacts Inequality

(RECAP: Data show that housing subsidies reduce income inequality, while the mortgage interest and real estate tax deductions increase it. It also shows that benefits for low-income households create equality while benefits targeted at high-income households create a wider disparity.)

How Innovative Senior Living Designs Are Rewriting Old Rules

(RECAP: Incorporating certain design features—even some that seem to be common-sense additions—is a rising challenge for designers and architects who specialize in senior living. Some have had success in working with local and state officials to allow for more flexible design, while for some features the “go-ahead” is still very much a work in progress.)

Opinions on Housing                                                                    

The views and opinions expressed in Opinions on Housing are solely those of the original authors, and do not necessarily represent those of VHDA, our stakeholders or any/all contributors to this blog.
  

Three's Not Always A Crowd: The rise of the multigenerational home

(RECAP: In recent years, more Americans are looking for houses designed to accommodate multiple generations—specifically, grandparents moving in with their children and college graduates returning to live with Mom and Dad.)

September 8, 2015

Down Payment Grant is Extended!

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The June 30 deadline has been extended to Sept. 30, 2015. 

We've been very pleased with the outstanding response to our pilot 3% Down Payment Assistance grant program; demand has clearly exceeded all expectations!

In response to its success, VHDA is extending the program through Sept. 30, 2015, at which time no additional reservations will be taken and we will begin evaluation of the program for possible allocations in future years.

Our hope is that the 3% Down Payment Assistance program will continue to help first-time homebuyers take advantage of current low interest rates, increasing homeownership opportunities for many more Virginians during this peak homebuying season.

Remember, funds are available on a first-come, first-served basis and must be allocated by Sept. 30, 2015. For details including a list of participating lenders, visit vhda.com/3percent.
© 2013 VHDA, All Rights Reserved. Please Review the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

September 3, 2015

VHDA Offers Free Renter Education eBook

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As we all know, whether it’s a house, apartment, duplex or townhouse, renting a place to call home has advantages for many people at some point in their lives. Renting can be a good option for young adults just starting out on their own, as well as single parents, empty nesters and others who don’t want the responsibility for repairs, maintenance and other aspects of homeownership.

VHDA has offered homebuyer education since 1996 and we’re pleased to announce that we now have a renter education eBook on our website. How to be a Successful Renter is free and a great resource for potential renters, as well as current tenants. This eBook makes it easy to understand the ins and outs of successfully finding, leasing and living well in an apartment or rental home.

Our renter education curriculum was developed in collaboration with many industry partners, including HUD, the Virginia Fair Housing Office of Richmond, the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD), the Legal Aid Society of Eastern Virginia and many other stakeholders throughout the Commonwealth. Their valuable feedback is greatly appreciated.

In addition to being a lifestyle choice, becoming a renter is also a legal business transaction. That’s why we hope you’ll share our new eBook — in addition to VirginiaHousingSearch.com, our free online rental housing search tool — with those who want to rent. With both of these tools at their disposal, they’ll be able to find a home that fits their needs and budget. They’ll also be empowered with the information they need to choose their rental home with the care and knowledge that decision deserves.
© 2013 VHDA, All Rights Reserved. Please Review the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

September 2, 2015

Beyond Bricks and Sticks

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A weekly digest of current trends in housing and community development. The discussion examines topics from infrastructure to community fabric.

Alexandria: Opportunities for ‘Creative Placemaking’

(RECAP: The creation of the Torpedo Factory Art Center in 1974 has become a textbook example of urban revitalization, often cited as one of the first experiments in adaptive re-use of an industrial space.)

Top 10 techniques for educating community leaders about placemaking

(RECAP: Extraordinary strides have been made in the advancement of placemaking over the past twenty-five years. What hasn’t changed is that decisions regarding the development of communities are still being made by community leaders who might be experts in politics, but don’t have an adequate understanding of placemaking principles.)

Where Americans go to work when they don’t work near home

(RECAP: A map, based on new five-year American Community Survey data released last week, illustrates commutes for the 38 million Americans who leave the counties where they live when they head to work most days. In D.C., for instance, about 140,000 workers come in each day from Prince George's County.)

Meeting the Housing Needs of an Aging Population

(RECAP: Amid all of the fuss about Millennials, let's remember that our population on the whole is aging. We'll start to see explosive growth in the need for housing that offers affordability, accessibility, support services, and community over the next 10 to 20 years. Once it hits, it'll continue for years. We'll need to start preparing for the coming wave and taking advantage of opportunities it presents.)

Spending On Community Living Hits Record

(RECAP: A new report finds that more than half of Medicaid spending on long-term services and supports went toward home and community-based services during fiscal year 2013. Medicaid pays for more long-term services and supports than any other provider in the nation.)

Opinions on Housing                                                                         

The views and opinions expressed in Opinions on Housing are solely those of the original authors, and do not necessarily represent those of VHDA, our stakeholders or any/all contributors to this blog.

The False Dichotomy – Housing Choice and Revitalization 

(RECAP: Affordable housing is not just one type of housing – it’s an entire continuum that people can move along over time, from supportive housing up through homeownership. It’s not just about affordable housing but combining that with community and economic development.)

Housing policy hits the small screen: A policy recap of HBO’s ‘Show Me a Hero’

(RECAP: A new HBO miniseries plays out in the 1980s, but the themes hold clear resonance to housing and community development issues of today.) 

September 1, 2015

In Case You Missed It: A Look at Recent National Housing Policy News

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Fannie Mae Introduces Revamped Affordable Loan Product 

https://www.ncsha.org/blog/fannie-mae-introduces-revamped-affordable-loan-product
Fannie Mae introduced the HomeReady™ product, a new lending option for low- and moderate-income borrowers. This new initiative will replace Fannie Mae’s MyCommunityMortgage® products, which are currently the firm’s primary offering for low-income consumers.  Fannie Mae’s new HomeReady product reflects several changes to its MyCommunityMortgage offering that are designed to help it better support affordable lending to lower income home buyers.  These include more targeted income limits, increased eligibility, and more flexible underwriting standards.  More information on these changes can be found in a fact sheet on Fannie Mae’s website.


FHA Announces New Initiatives to Promote Green Single-Family Housing

https://www.ncsha.org/blog/fha-announces-new-initiatives-promote-green-single-family-housing
The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) announced two new policies designed to promote energy-efficient single-family housing.  This announcement was part of a broader set of green energy initiatives that the Obama Administration announced the same day.  One of the new policies will allow, under certain conditions, loans for properties with existing Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) loans to be eligible for FHA insurance.  Through PACE loans, state and local governments provide homeowners with up to 20-year loans to finance energy efficiency home improvements, secured by tax liens attached to the property.  In the event that the property is sold before the PACE loan is paid in full, the loan may transfer to the next owner of the property.


MBA Housing Demand Study

https://www.mba.org/Documents/Research/15292_Research_Growth_White_Paper.pdf
The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) projects between 13.9 and 15.9 million additional households will be formed by 2024, making the next decade one of the strongest in housing in U.S. history, according to a new research paper released today. The report, titled Housing Demand: Demographics and the Numbers Behind the Coming Multi-Million Increase in Households, shows that the housing demand surge will be driven by Hispanics, Baby Boomers, and Millennials.   "Household formation has been depressed in recent years by a long, jobless recovery and by a lull in the growth of the working age population," said Lynn Fisher, MBA's Vice President of Research and Economics.  "Improving employment markets will build on major demographic trends - including maturing of Baby Boomers, Hispanics and Millennials - to create strong growth in both owner and rental housing markets over the next decade."


Moody's: State housing finance agencies will benefit from increasing millennial homeownership rates

https://www.moodys.com/research/Moodys-State-housing-finance-agencies-will-benefit-from-increasing-millennial--PR_332878?WT.mc_id=AM~WWFob29fRmluYW5jZV9TQl9SYXRpbmcgTmV3c19BbGxfRW5n~20150820_PR_332878
State housing finance agencies (HFAs) are set to benefit from increases in home ownership among millennials Moody's Investors Service says in "Millennial Influx in Housing Market Will Benefit HFAs."
Rising wages and declining unemployment are positive factors supporting an expected increase in millennial homeownership, while HFA down payment and closing cost assistance will make their programs attractive to millennials.   "HFAs that capture even a small percentage of the increasing millennial homebuyer market share will see a material impact on loan originations and revenues," author of the report and Moody's Associate Analyst Wesley Coggins says. "According to the US census, 15 million millennial households do not own a home, presenting a sizable untapped market for HFAs."

It’s The Law! Five Things You Need To Know About Changes in Buying a Home

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Starting October 3, 2015, there will be significant changes to the homebuying process in the U.S. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) was established by Congress to improve consumer financial laws, and parts of these new laws will change the way homebuying disclosures are presented.

Here are five important things you need to know about these changes:

  1. The Good Faith Estimate is no more. This has been replaced by the Loan Estimate, a disclosure that helps consumers understand the key features, cost and risks of a mortgage loan. 
  2. Also gone is the Truth in Lending Disclosure. Now homebuyers receive an updated Loan Estimate and a Closing Disclosure, which helps them understand all of the cost of the purchase transaction.
  3. There are significant new laws in place to help protect consumers from predatory lenders. They include the Homeowners Equity Protection Act (HOEPA) and the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure (TRID), which integrates previous consumer disclosures. 
  4. There are new time limits in place, as well. Pay close attention to the distinctions in these limits. The Loan Estimate must be provided to consumers no later than three business days after the loan application is submitted. In this case, a business day is any day that the lender’s offices are open to the public. The Closing Disclosure must be provided to the consumer three business days before they close on the loan. In this case, a business day is any calendar day except Sunday and legal public holidays.
  5. One more document to know about is the Written List of Providers. This is a list of providers for a variety of services that homebuyers may shop for. It provides the type of service, estimated cost and contact information for the provider. Homebuyers are not required to use a provider from the list.

If you apply for a mortgage before these changes take effect, you will still use the current documents, including the Good Faith Estimate, Truth In Lending Disclosure and HUD-1 Settlement Statement throughout the loan process and loan closing, even if it extends past the date of the change. But if you apply for the mortgage starting on the day the changes take effect, or after, you will use the new documents.

VHDA’s Homebuyer Education program (in-person and online classes) is being revised to reflect the CFPB’s new laws and system. For more details on these topics and many more, visit our Homeownership Education webpage.
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