March 14, 2018

Board of Commissioners Update

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VHDA’s Board of Commissioners has undergone some recent changes. We’d like to thank Sarah Stedfast and Lemella Y. Carrington for their dedicated service and wish them well. Kit Hale is our new Chairman and Clarissa McAdoo Cannion is our Vice Chairman.

Governor Ralph Northam appointed Erik Johnston as the Director of the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) and he will serve on VHDA’s Board as an ex-officio member. In addition, William (Bill) Shelton, DHCD’s former Director, will remain on VHDA’s Board serving as a citizen member also appointed by the Governor. 

March 7, 2018

Creating Opportunities for Homeownership

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Preventing Foreclosure


VHDA’s Servicing Department held four Borrower Outreach Events to prevent foreclosure. These events provided customers an opportunity to meet with our staff in person, receive education on how to prevent foreclosure and apply for loan modifications. We have modified 121 loans through this program, and about 69% have remained current.



 Reaching Underserved Areas


We’ve recently increased our ability to serve communities in Southwest Virginia by hiring Frank Webster, an experienced Business Development Officer, who is dedicated to the region. This will strengthen our stakeholder relationships in the area and enable us to provide more educational opportunities for consumers in this part of the state.




Helping First-time Homebuyers

VHDA is preparing a springtime campaign to increase awareness about our Loan Combo, which offers a home loan plus a package of benefits including a down payment grant, an MCC and our free homebuyer class.

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

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Rental Housing

Commercial and Multifamily Construction Starts Down in 2017

Many metro areas reported reduced commercial and multifamily construction starts in 2017 compared to 2016, said Dodge Data & Analytics, New York. "Of the commercial and multifamily project types, multifamily housing is the one that appears to have already reached its peak and is now heading downward," said Dodge Data & Analytics Chief Economist Robert Murray, noting a 12 percent decline in dollar terms during 2017.


The Number of High-Income Renters Surged, Especially in the Nation’s Highest-Cost Markets

High-income renters are a growing share of all rental households, particularly in the nation's most expensive metropolitan areas, including Washington. The shift comes amid tremendous growth in the national rental housing market, which added nearly 10 million new rental households between 2006 and 2016. These include 2.9 million "high-income" renters (those with real annual incomes exceeding $100,000). This is a 29 percent increase in a group that represented 9 percent of all renters in 2006 but accounted for 13 percent of renters in 2016.


Homeownership 

Updated Credit Scoring and the Mortgage Market

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) is considering a potential change in the credit scoring models approved for use by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and is currently receiving public comment on this important policy issue. This report provides an overview of the issues involved.

Mortgage Insurance Companies Push Back Against 50% DTI

Last year, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac announced they were increasing their debt-to-income ratio to 50%. But now, private mortgage insurance companies are pushing back, announcing new underwriting requirements, including higher credit scores, for loans with DTIs exceeding 45%.


Reforming the FHA’s Foreclosure and Conveyance Processes

This report addresses how the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) foreclosure and conveyance processes can be changed to bring down costs and create efficiencies.


Your Mortgage Application May Trigger Competitors to Tempt You with Other Offers

Credit bureaus routinely convert information they receive regarding mortgage application filings within 24 hours into “trigger leads” which they sell to competing mortgage lenders. This practice has become controversial and is being blamed for predatory practices on consumers, especially unsophisticated ones. Last week, the National Association of Mortgage Brokers began pushing a campaign on Capitol Hill for an outright ban.


Manufactured Housing

Can Manufactured Housing Ease America’s Affordable Housing Crisis?

The affordable home purchase market continues to suffer an acute inventory shortage. High construction costs and labor shortages mean builders can’t keep up with household formation, and Americans who already own homes are reluctant to sell an asset that is appreciating rapidly. While there’s no easy fix, signals within the federal government suggest one solution is getting increased attention—manufactured housing.  Now, Federal agencies are reviewing financing and regulations in hopes of giving manufactured homes a boost. This article summarizes these issues and their impact on the industry.


MBA Urges HUD to Take Opportunities on Manufactured Housing

HUD is preparing to review its current regulation of manufactured housing and has requested public input. The Mortgage Bankers Association, in a February 26 letter to HUD, said manufactured housing offers the agency with opportunities to help meet the nation's affordable housing needs and urged it to take a more flexible regulatory approach.

February 28, 2018

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

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Foundation Funding for Housing

Nine Foundations Launch Housing Collaborative

Nine of the nation’s largest private foundations have joined forces to create the Funders for Housing and Opportunity (FHO) collaborative with the goal of ensuring individuals and families who spend more than half of their income on rent—or have no homes at all—will be able to afford safe, stable rental housing in thriving communities. Together, FHO members will commit grant dollars that will be used to catalyze systemic change. The new organization announced that it has committed $4.9 million to four grantees over the next three years.


Multifamily Housing

Construction Costs Spike for Multifamily Projects

The cost of construction is rising rapidly for apartment developers and contractors. “I expect contractors to pay 4 percent to 5 percent more in 2018 than in 2017,” says Ken Simonson, chief economist with the Associated General Contractors of America. That includes both construction materials and services, such as truck transportation, subcontracting and leasing.


Homeownership 

Nowhere to Go but Up?  How Increasing Mortgage Rates Could Affect Housing

Freddie Mac has released its February Insight, which looks into the effects of higher mortgage rates on homebuyers, homeowners wishing to refinance, mortgage lenders, home builders and real estate agents. The Insight delves into the past to review periods when interest rates spiked and analyze the effects on the housing industry.


Manufactured Housing an Opportunity for Affordable Homeownership

This article provides a brief case example of the use of manufactured housing in San Bernardino, CA on scattered in-fill lots to help in providing affordable homeownership and revitalize city neighborhoods.


Homeownership is Still Financially Better than Renting

An analysis by Urban Institute research staff looks at costs of homeownership versus renting, and shows that homeownership remains highly beneficial for most families, offering both financial gains and a way to build wealth. Homeownership is shown to be especially beneficial for those who expect to own their home for a long enough period to overcome the sizable transactions costs and the cyclical volatility of home prices.


February 14, 2018

Brighter Future Unfolds for Fletcherville

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VHDA’s Community Outreach Division and Strategic Lending Unit have teamed up with Fauquier County and not-for-profit Foothills Housing Corporation to provide some much-needed improvements in a rural Virginia community. Fletcherville is a neighborhood of 36 rental homes built in the 1960s and 70s, just outside of Warrenton, Va.

VHDA is providing a $30,000 Community Impact Grant from our REACH Virginia program to Fauquier County on behalf of Foothills Housing Corporation, which plans to purchase the entire Fletcherville property. This will enable them to preserve the neighborhood’s affordability and also address issues with wastewater disposal and renovations needed to make the homes more comfortable and energy-efficient for the families who live there. The grant is funded by VHDA’s REACH Virginia program, which channels a substantial portion of our net revenues to support many programs such as Fletcherville’s revitalization.

Fletcherville is not connected to Warrenton’s sewer system, and its drainfields have raised concerns about the safety of groundwater and Warrenton’s nearby reservoir. Foothills’ proposal would extend Warrenton’s sewer lines to all the homes. Another proposed improvement is replacing oil and gas heat with clean, energy-efficient electric heat pumps.

VHDA Director of Strategic Housing Chris Thompson said he’s pleased that Fauquier County will manage the grant for Foothills, because “it demonstrates Fauquier’s firm commitment to improving the lives of Fletcherville residents, safeguarding Warrenton’s water supply and making the region even more desirable as a place to call home.”

The VHDA grant will pay for an appraisal and environmental assessments that Foothills must submit to Virginia Community Capital, the lender providing initial financing for the acquisition. When that short-term loan matures, VHDA intends to offer long-term financing for the acquisition, home improvements and the sewer project. John Reid, Executive Director of Foothills, said, “VHDA’s very good terms for a loan make the whole project doable.”

The partnership with Fauquier County and Foothills is one way VHDA is working to preserve and promote affordable housing in underserved rural Virginia communities. We’ve also introduced Foothills to agencies they may tap for future loans and grants, such as USDA Rural Development, the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) and the Southeast Rural Community Action Program. John Reid added, “VHDA has been wonderful to work with … bringing groups together on our behalf to fund these energy-efficient improvements.”

Foothills Housing Corporation was founded in 1970 with a mission to provide community wells in neighborhoods with little or no access to running water. Since then, it has expanded its scope and reach beyond plumbing and Fauquier County to make more safe, comfortable, affordable housing available to families and the elderly in many Virginia localities.

February 13, 2018

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

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HUD FY 2019 Budget

Trump Administration Proposes 2019 HUD Budget

This HUD Administration press release focuses on its core priority of providing direct assistance to vulnerable populations, while proposing significant cuts to capital programs and stating the Administration’s commitment to the idea that “state and local governments are best positioned to address specific needs in their communities.”


Chart Book:  Employment and Earnings for Households Receiving Federal Rental Assistance

The Trump Administration’s proposed budget has raised a major policy debate regarding the imposition of work requirements for recipients of federal rental assistance. This analysis by the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) exams data on the income and employment of current rent subsidy recipients to help gauge the potential impact of new requirements.


Other Federal Policy News

Mortgage Choice Act Approved by House of Representatives

The House of Representatives has voted to pass the Mortgage Choice Act of 2017, which would adjust the Truth in Lending Act’s definitions of points and fees under the Ability to Repay/Qualified Mortgage rule.


FHFA Finalizes 2018 to 2020 Goals for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FFHA) has published a final rule that establishes new single family and multifamily housing goals for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac for 2018 through 2020 in accordance with the provisions of the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008.


Rental Housing

MBA Projects 2018 Maturing Commercial/Multifamily Mortgage Volume to Drop 42%

A large share of commercial mortgages carry a maturity of 10 years.  2017 marked the end of the “wall of maturities” for loans closed during the housing boom.  Now, 2018 will see a steep fall off in maturities as the smaller number of loans closed during the 2008 financial crisis mature.


Homeownership

Mortgage Servicers Prepare for Next Natural Disasters

2017 provided a wake-up call to the mortgage servicing industry, which saw a sharp spike in mortgage delinquencies and foreclosures in the areas affected by hurricanes and wildfires. A summary of lessons learned and issues to be addressed in mortgage servicing disaster preparedness planning.


Market Trends

Redfin:  Affordable Inland Metros Drew Migrants from High-Cost Coastal Markets

Online real estate firm Redfin.com reports that migration patterns in the fourth quarter saw people in expensive, high-tax coastal markets such as San Francisco, New York, Los Angeles and Washington search for homes in more affordable metros with lower taxes. This confirms the out-migration pattern seen recently in Census Bureau and Weldon Cooper Center (UVA) estimates of population change in Northern Virginia.


February 6, 2018

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

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GSE Reform

Fannie-Freddie Bill includes Billions for Affordable Housing

A Senate bill to reform Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the result of discussions between Tennessee Republican Bob Corker and Virginia Democrat Mark Warner, would devote billions of dollars to boosting home ownership among lower-income borrowers.  The draft gives the clearest view yet into how the senators aim to woo progressive politicians to back their plan. Support from those Democrats is likely needed to meet the 60-vote threshold for passing major bills in the Senate.

GSE Reform Bill Could be Congress’s Last Chance

In this op-ed interview, MBA CEO David Stevens discusses his views on key provisions of the draft legislation and the importance of moving a bill forward.


Rental Housing

LIHTC Market Faces “Mild Turbulence” Ahead

Investors and developers in the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) market are adapting to a dramatic drop in pricing over the past year and expecting more uncertainty ahead. The main concern is that demand for tax credits could diminish once institutional investors calculate the full impact from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. However, investors have not yet hit the pause button. They still have ample capital available and a desire to buy tax credits.

Work Requirements and Housing:  What We Don’t Know Could Hurt Us

It is now considered likely that the Administration’s HUD budget proposal will authorize PHA’s to impose work requirements on abled-bodied recipients in federal rental assistance programs. This Urban Institute blog post exams what is known as well as what is not known about the impact of work requirements in low-income housing programs.


Homeownership

Manufactured Homes Could Ease the Affordable Housing Crisis. So Why Are So Few Being Made?

This Urban Institute blog post provides a brief overview of the manufactured housing industry’s impact on the affordable housing market over the past 40 years, and looks at the potential for manufactured housing to again play an important role in meeting affordable housing needs.

January 31, 2018

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

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Federal Housing Policy

Three Big Policy Trends for 2018

At the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) Independent Lenders Conference, the consensus was that GSE reform, tax reform and regulatory reform will keep the industry busy in 2018. This panel discussion overview provides a summary of views on what to expect in each over the coming year with the overall conclusion being that the status quo is going to end.


Rental Housing

U.S. Regulators Ready to Ease Check on Property Values

U.S. bank regulators plan to relax commercial real estate lending rules by allowing more deals to go ahead without an independent appraisal of the property’s value. Under existing rules, commercial real estate worth more than $250,000 must have an independent third-party appraisal. That threshold would double to $500,000 under proposed reforms.


Homeownership

HUD to Consider Eliminating Manufactured Housing Regulations

HUD has announced that it is launching a “wholesale review” of its manufactured housing rules as part of a “broader effort to identify regulations that may be ineffective, overly burdensome, or excessively costly given the critical need for affordable housing.”  For the next 30 days, HUD will accept public comments to help the department identify regulations that may be “outmoded, ineffective or excessively burdensome” and should be “modified, streamlined, replaced or repealed.”


Housing Market Conditions

Amazon Pick for Second HQ Likely in Already Overheated Housing Market

CoreLogic monitors the health of the housing economy through historic home price changes and other market conditions including sustainability of prices in the market, referred to as the CoreLogic Market Condition Indicators (MCI).  In reviewing conditions in the 20 second round markets chosen by Amazon, CoreLogic concludes that  half, including Northern Virginia, are currently overvalued.


January 23, 2018

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

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Federal Housing Policy

What a Government Shutdown Means for Housing

A summary of shutdown impacts on the mortgage industry. Despite substantial reductions in HUD staffing, most key federal mortgage market functions would continue, but some mortgage closings could be significantly delayed.

What Does a Shutdown Mean for Washington Region’s Economy?

An economic and housing market data analysis to gauge the potential economic impacts of government shutdowns of varying durations.


Federal Housing Trust Fund

Housing Trust Fund at Risk Due to Tax Reform 

Due to unintended impacts from the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act” signed into law in December, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (the Enterprises) have announced they will likely need an advance from the U.S. Treasury – a move that, under current Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) policy, risks a suspension of the Enterprises’ statutorily required funding for the national Housing Trust Fund.


Government Sponsored Enterprise (GSE) Reform

Is the Senate Planning to Move Fannie, Freddie into Receivership?

The Senate is examining a plan from the Federal Housing Finance Agency that could turn Fannie and Freddie into utilities with access to an explicit government guarantee against catastrophic loss.  However, the Senate bill would differ significantly from the FHFA’s proposal.  It would replace the GSEs with at least 10 private-market guarantors.


Rental Housing Programs

Fannie Mae Wants Affordable Housing Developers to Focus on Resident Wellbeing

Last year, Fannie Mae launched a program designed to increase the development of healthy living options for residents of affordable, multifamily rental properties. The program, called Healthy Housing Rewards, targets developers and offers them an incentive to include healthy design features, like including common spaces, community gardens, playgrounds, into the design of newly constructed or rehabilitated affordable, multifamily rental properties. Now, Fannie Mae is rolling out a new feature of the program that encourages developers to focus more on the health and wellbeing of their residents..

Seven Predictions for the Multifamily Sector in 2018

“Stable” is the word that encapsulates the anticipated state of the multifamily sector this year.  Little change is expected by most market experts.

Apartment Rent Gains Slow

U.S. multifamily rents held steady in December, finishing 2017 at $1,359 on average--up 2.5 percent for the year.  "While that represents a solid gain, it also is the smallest annual increase since 2010," the YardiMatrix Rent Survey said, noting rents have grown by at least 3.3 percent every year since then, peaking at 5.4 percent in 2015 and declining to 3.4 percent in 2016.


Homeownership Programs

House Passes Bill That Eases HMDA Requirements for Smaller Lenders

The House of Representatives this week passed a bill that exempts some smaller lenders, community banks, and credit unions from the additional HMDA reporting requirements that went into effect at the beginning of this year.


January 18, 2018

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

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Federal Housing Policy

Top Democrats Want Credit Reporting Agencies Severely Punished for Equifax-style Breaches 

Two Senate Democrats want there to be much stiffer penalties should any credit reporting        agency, Equifax included, fail to protect consumer data again. On Wednesday, January 10, Sens. Mark Warner, D-Virginia, and Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., introduced a bill that would increase oversight of credit reporting agencies and allow the government to impose financial penalties on the agencies for failing to secure consumer data.

Financial Services Groups Ask Congress to Pursue New Data Breach Rules

The trade groups that represent the financial services companies impacted by the Warner-Warren bill are also asking for the government to enact new data security rules. In a letter sent to House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Rep. Greg Walden, R-Oregon, and Rep. Bob Latta, R-Ohio, the chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Digital Commerce and Consumer Protection, a collection of 22 trade groups say that they support new data security legislation because their member companies take data security “very seriously. The groups also lay out their vision for how that data security legislation should look.

Former FHA Head Joins Calls for Reverse Mortgage Separation

There continues to be concerns about the negative impact that reverse mortgages are having on FHA’s capital reserves. Carol Galante, former head of FHA, is among the growing chorus of housing experts who believe the federally backed reverse mortgage program should be separate from the Federal Housing Administration’s other loans.

MBA Calls for Improved Policing of VA Loan “Churning”

There is growing concern in Congress about serial cash-out refinancings of mortgage loans to veterans through the VA program. Mortgage Bankers Association Chairman David Motley, in testimony before a House subcommittee, said lenders who engage in serial refinancing ("churning") of Veterans Affairs loans run counter to sound lending practices and expressed support for measures that result in stronger policing of such practices.

Bill Would Rein in Mortgage Companies Targeting Veterans

U.S. Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Thom Tillis have introduced a bill aimed at cracking down on mortgage lending companies targeting veterans, and say the measure is gaining support.


Homeownership Programs

HousingWire—Student Loan Crisis Could be Worse Than Originally Thought

In response to the release of a new study by the Brookings Institute regarding the scope of the student loan default “crisis” (see  below), HousingWire conducted further analysis to determine the potential scope of negative impacts on the first-time home purchase market.

Brookings—The Looming Student Loan Default Crisis is Worse Than We Thought
This report analyzes new data on student debt and repayment, released by the U.S. Department of Education in October 2017. Previously available data have been limited to borrowers only, follow students for a relatively short period (3-5 years) after entering repayment, and had only limited information on student characteristics and experiences. The new data allow for the most comprehensive assessment to date of student debt and default from the moment students first enter college, to when they are repaying loans up to 20 years later, for two cohorts of first-time entrants (in 1995-96 and 2003-04).

The Unintended Effect of New Tax Laws on Property Tax Servicing

The Tax Reform Bill, which caps the amount of state and local taxes that can be withheld, has caused disruption of mortgage escrow accounting protocols for some servicers in high housing cost/property tax areas, including Northern Virginia, where borrowers have attempted to pre-pay their tax liability.

State of U.S. Interest Rates, Broken Down by Credit Scores

Most tracking of mortgage interest costs focus on average rates such as reported weekly by Freddie Mac. However, actual rates paid vary significantly by credit score. LendingTree recently conducted a study which analyzed the actual rates lenders offered to borrowers to see the average interest rate broken down by credit scores.

A New Approach to Mortgage Design

Since the mortgage crisis, there has been growing interest in mortgage structures that accelerate equity growth for borrowers. Currently, the GAO is studying the issue at the request of Congress.  This article lays out one conceptual approach for achieving this goal.


Demographic Trends Impacting Housing

What is the Biggest Demographic Trend in Virginia?

Behind all of the demographic trends being tracked and reported on by the Demographics Research Group at UVA, there is one significant driving factor: aging. The aging of Baby Boomers is not only swelling the 65+ population, but is also having a ripple effect across all age groups, slowing growth in the working-age population and often causing decline in the school-age population. This report summarizes UVA’s findings regarding this trend.



January 9, 2018

So Tax Reform Passed… What Happens to Private Activity Bonds?

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As you likely heard, the affordable housing community was scrambling to figure out how to deal with the potential loss of Private Activity Bonds (PABs) under the tax reform legislation, as first proposed.  PABs are tax-exempt bonds issued by VHDA to finance rental housing. PABs are also convertible into Mortgage Credit Certificates (MCCs) for use in our Homeownership program. The House version of the bill completely eliminated PABs. Well, good news for PABs: In the tax reform legislation as signed into law, PABs as they existed before tax reform were entirely preserved.

What does this mean for VHDA and its customers?

Both our Homeownership and Rental programs will continue to operate as they have in the past, including the issuance of MCCs for home loans, and the issuance of tax-exempt housing bonds (PABs) with the associated 4% Low Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC) for affordable rental housing.

While the entire LIHTC Program was preserved in the legislation, there is concern that demand for tax credits due to the decreased corporate tax rate (formerly at 35%, now at 21%) will reduce the price.  This would result in less equity funding for rental developments. This is still “TBD,” but stay tuned as we determine the impact of tax reform legislation in 2018.

Questions?

Contact Toni Ostrowski in homeownership at toni.ostrowski@vhda.com or JD Bondurant in the rental division at jd.bondurant@vhda.com.

January 8, 2018

Study Confirms Housing's Role in Virginia Economy

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A recently completed study shows how vital housing is for our economy. The full report was shared at the Governor's Housing Conference in November. Commissioned by the Governor's Housing Policy Advisory Council, the research was conducted by a coalition of state universities including Virginia Tech, George Mason, VCU and William & Mary.

The study confirms the impact of housing on Virginia's economy, including a statewide analysis showing how high household financial burdens for housing and transportation are linked to low regional economic recovery.

The data provided in this new report will help VHDA and our partners focus our combined resources to address the state's most pressing housing needs. Use the link below to check out the full report.

January 3, 2018

Jan. 4 Housing Credit Workshop Rescheduled

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Due to impending inclement weather, the Housing Credit Workshop scheduled for Jan. 4 in Hampton, Va has been rescheduled to Jan. 9 at the same location. The workshop will be held from 8:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. If you were registered for the Jan 4. event, your registration still stands. If you would like to register, please do so by Jan. 5 at 10 a.m. Please register on our website.

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

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Homeownership Programs

Genworth:  3% Down Mortgages Key to Lock In First-time Homebuyers in 2018

According to a new survey from Genworth Mortgage Insurance, the majority of respondents anticipate strong first-time homebuyer growth in 2018, with more than half (57%) believing that the first-time homebuyer market will grow at a faster pace than the overall housing market in 2018. And for the products that will be in high demand, respondents said that the majority (63%) of mortgage lenders believe demand for 97% loan-to-value products will grow in 2018.

Coastal Mortgage Time Bomb

Reauthorization of the National Flood Insurance Program is part of Congress’ unfinished business in the New Year, and a consensus has not yet emerged despite House passage of a bill in early December. With the cost of flood insurance rising, and the current program insolvent, there is growing concern about the long-term implications for mortgage lending in flood prone areas.

I celebrated holidays in a trailer.  Don’t put it down, it was home.

This USA Today op-ed piece by Suzanne Anarde, who is program vice president for Rural LISC and leads rural investments and programming for the Local Initiatives Support Corporation, speaks to the important role manufactured housing can play in affordable housing.


Rural Lending

Rural Business Owners Face a Dwindling Pool of Lenders

This article is part of the Wall Street Journal’s ongoing series of in-depth reports on conditions in rural America. It focuses on the significant loss of local banks in rural communities, whether community-based or branches of larger regional/national banks, and describes the severe impacts the loss is having on rural businesses and economies.
(subscription only)

Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs)

Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac Publish ‘Duty to Serve’ Plans

On December 18, the Federal Housing Finance Agency published ‘Duty to Serve’ program market plans for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac for the next two years. These plans lay out the GSEs’ strategies for addressing the lending needs of underserved markets.


Fannie, Freddie Announce Final Plans to Serve Underserved Markets

A summary of the focus of the GSE duty to serve plans which include three priorities:  1) manufactured housing; 2) preservation of affordable rental housing; and 3) rural housing. Central Appalachia is one the GSEs’ priority underserved rural regions.

Fannie-Freddie Plan to Modify Credit Scoring, Servicing, Appraisals

On December 21, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) announced the release of its 2018 Scorecard, which outlines the conservatorship priorities for the GSEs. These include: 1) if appropriate, to implement a new credit scoring model; 2) addressing mortgage servicing technology; and 3) appraisal process modernization.

Fannie-Freddie Talks Set Competition as the Cost of Freedom

Senator Mark Warner and Senator Bob Corker are working to develop a plan that would lower barriers to entry for secondary market competitors to the GSEs by removing some of the advantages Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac now possess.


January 2, 2018

Blueprint Virginia 2025 Features Housing Components

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The Virginia Chamber of Commerce recently released Blueprint Virginia 2025, a comprehensive initiative that provides business leadership, direction, and long-range economic planning for Virginia. In this report, housing is directly tied to providing a strong workforce and education, one of the six pillars of a growing economy.

Blueprint Virginia 2025 calls for housing programs that will support the needs of our growing population. According to the study, by 2025, Virginia’s population will add over 1 million more residents. Virginia will need a workforce to fill 800K more jobs, in addition to the 1 million jobs vacated by a retiring workforce.

To strengthen and secure the Commonwealth’s position as a global economic leader and the best state in the nation for doing business, the report provides the following recommendations for all stakeholders:

Enact policies to support workforce housing, including addressing land use issues and constraints on the construction and housing industries.
Continue to support state incentives and programs that promote housing development and redevelopment efforts in our communities.

VHDA Executive Director Susan Dewey served as a member of the Blueprint Virginia 2025 Advisory Council. As a stakeholder, VHDA will use the report to continue to support Virginia’s economy by providing quality, affordable housing.

Read the report: https://www.vachamber.com/advocacy/blueprint-virginia/   
Watch the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SQBwlUeQCwA&feature=youtu.be