March 22, 2016

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

FHA Releases New Single Family Loan Certifications; Proposes Modified Lender Certifications

The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) announced that it has revised the form mortgagees must file when submitting a loan for FHA-insurance and proposed changes to the certification statements lenders and other mortgagees must file when applying to participate in FHA's homeownership programs. FHA said it hopes these actions will increase lender participation in FHA's single-family programs by clarifying FHA mortgagees' underwriting responsibilities and liabilities. To implement the revised certification requirements, FHA has amended the HUD/VA Addendum to the Universal Residential Loan Application (Form 9200-A), the official form mortgagees must file when submitting a mortgage loan for FHA-insurance. These amendments clarify what liability mortgagees might face if the loan is found to contain underwriting or other errors. The new Form 9200-A will become effective on August 1.

Fannie and Freddie Give $186M to Affordable Housing Fund

"The goal is to expand the supply of affordable housing," said Sheila Crowley, head of the National Low Income Housing Coalition. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac gave $186 million to the National Housing Trust Fund, their first such contributions to a fund designed to provide construction and rehabilitation of rental housing for low-income families. The fund was created in 2008, but never got off the ground before the two government-sponsored enterprises were seized and placed into conservatorship later that year. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro told lawmakers that some states will start submitting their requests for affordable housing funds in April. "We expect the first allocations of the Housing Trust Fund will be made this summer," Castro told members of a Senate Appropriations subcommittee.

Bond Buyer: Housing Bond Volume Increased 27% in 2015

Total tax-exempt housing bond issuance increased substantially in 2015, an analysis recently released by The Bond Buyer. The gains in the housing bond market were widespread, with both single-family and multifamily bond volume rising last year. According to the study, which is based on data from Thomson Reuters, 531 housing bond issuances totaling almost $16.7 billion in volume were issued in 2015, a 27 percent increase in volume over 2014. This includes more than $7.9 billion in single-family mortgage revenue bonds and $8.7 billion in multifamily bonds, representing increases of 38 percent and 18 percent, respectively, over 2014.

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