December 8, 2015

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

Final Multiyear Transportation Bill Includes Housing Provisions 
After months of deliberation both the House and Senate yesterday by wide margins passed multiyear transportation legislation—the Fixing America's Surface Transportation Act (FAST). President Obama is expected to sign the bill before current authorization expires at the end of today.  FAST includes several housing-related provisions that have already won bipartisan support and passed the House in separate bills, including a pay-for-success demonstration program to improve water and energy efficiency in HUD-assisted multifamily developments, triannual recertifications for fixed-income households, a modification to the Low-Income Housing Preservation and Resident Homeownership Act (LIHPRA) to make it easier for owners of properties preserved under LIHPRA to access the equity in their properties, and language designed to exempt more lenders working in rural areas from Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) mortgage regulations.

Black Knight’s October Mortgage Monitor: Despite New GSE Products, FHA/VA Still Dominate High-LTV Lending  

Cash Share of Residential Sales Hits 7-Year Low
The Data and Analytics division of Black Knight Financial Services, Inc. (NYSE: BKFS) released its latest Mortgage Monitor Report, based on data as of the end of October 2015. This month, Black Knight looked at high loan-to-value (LTV) products – greater than 95 percent LTV – in light of the GSEs’ reintroduction of high-LTV products at the end of 2014, coupled with the 50-basis-point reduction in FHA annual mortgage insurance premiums earlier this year. Despite the renewed availability of GSE products, the data shows that high-LTV lending is still primarily the province of the FHA/VA. As Black Knight Data & Analytics Senior Vice President Ben Graboske explained, the FHA/VA has been the primary driver in what is an expanding segment of the purchase origination market.

HLP, Freddie Mac, NFL legend Tim Brown partner to help minority families become homeowners

Launch American Dream Homeownership Initiative
HLP, Freddie Mac, the Hispanic Action Outreach Network, and NFL Hall of Famer Tim Brown announced a partnership designed to help low and moderate-income African-American and Hispanic families buy their own homes.  The parties are joining together to form a financial education project called the American Dream Homeownership Initiative.   The American Dream Homeownership Initiative will host a series of financial education events in eight cities over the next 12 months, starting Dec. 5 in Oakland, California.   Brown, who starred as a wide receiver with the Oakland Raiders and now runs the Tim Brown Foundation, is acting as the group’s lead spokesperson.   According to a release from HLP, a national non-profit organization, anyone can attend the free, one-day financial education program on Dec. 5, which is designed to help them understand how to qualify to buy a home.

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