The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) marked the first anniversary of the Joe Biden administration Thursday, describing what it describes as the administration’s achievements in housing while providing perspective on the importance of the reverse mortgage program under the federal government. Housing Administration (FHA).
This is according to a call with reporters made with several members of the management’s leadership team, including HUD Chief of Staff Jane Jones and Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary (PDAS) for the Office of Housing and FHA Lopa P. Kolluri, PDAS for Community Planning and Development Arthur Jameson and Senior Adviser Joe Carlyle and Richard Chu.
Strengthening the Mortgage Insurance Trust (MMI) is listed as one of the department’s major accomplishments in the department’s first year, as well as new initiatives designed to protect vulnerable communities from discrimination in the housing system.
FHA on reverse mortgage performance
When asked directly what place the HECM program occupies in relation to HUD’s overall priorities, PDAS Kolluri explained that HUD is optimistic about the HECM program given its positivity in the annual report to Congress released late last year. However, that doesn’t mean HUD and FHA are resting on their laurels.
“I want to start by saying that HECM is a high priority for HUD,” Kolluri told RMD. “As you know, we rolled out the MMI late last year, and for the first time in many years, the HECM ratio was positive. We are excited and at the same time, we are cautious about it. We think the HECM ratio is very sensitive to home price appreciation. And so, we want Let’s keep watching it.”
This is in line with the report’s attribution of a positive HECM capital ratio, which at the time stated that HPA was a key factor in improving the HECM business book. Kolluri also explained that the HECM program is at the forefront of the FHA and HUD especially in light of the effects that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on seniors.
“One of the first things I would say is that our top priority for HECM borrowers is to make sure we protect those who are struggling as a result of the pandemic,” Collouri said. As a result, we’ve offered a full range of flexibility in policy and concessions to make sure it’s protected throughout this time. The HECM program continues to be a robust and viable option for those seniors looking to get older, and we want to make sure we’re working to support the program’s operational viability. “
Most of the past year in terms of HUD and FHA HECM has been either in extending the first-handed reverse mortgage relief under the previous administration, or in creating other forms of relief for HECM borrowers impacted by the ongoing pandemic. Most recently, this has included new guidance for assessments on both forward and reverse mortgage programs, the creation of revised guidelines for the reverse mortgage program that are currently on the FHA’s drafting schedule, and the extension of several other relief measures in various segments.
Recent indications also point to a reversal of the mortgage program reform serving as a legislative priority for the FHA and HUD in 2022 according to a public notice posted on the website of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA), a division of the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB). When asked about this, HUD representatives at the time said they had nothing else to add to its content.
MMI . Fund Performance
In addition to the specific reverse mortgage components of the MMI fund cited by PDAS Kolluri, several members of the circuit have been touting the improvement in the MMI fund’s overall position as one of the major accomplishments of the Biden-Harris HUD.
“HUD announced a historically strong Combined Mortgage Insurance Fund report that shows that in addition to its focus on providing relief options to homeowners financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, the FHA has continued to carry out its mission to enable first-time and low-income homeowners Medium, colored families.
Because of this, the MMI Fund “remains well-positioned to withstand future economic events and bear the consequences of pandemic-induced defaults that remain tolerant or seriously overdue,” the department says.
Also noted in the discussion about the health of the fund was the percentage of first-time homebuyers served by FHA-insured programs, while minority borrowers accounted for nearly 42% of all FHA term-mortgage insurance approvals, she explained. Administration.
“The FHA served twice the percentage of black and Hispanic borrowers compared to those served through mortgage facilities by the rest of the housing market in the past fiscal year,” the department said.
FHA Commissioner job vacancy
One persistent uncertainty on the first anniversary of the Biden administration, particularly for HECM watchers, is the fact that the FHA commissioner position remains vacant. While President Biden nominates housing advocate Julia Gordon to serve as the new commissioner for the Federal Housing Division full-time, movement on her nomination to the US Senate has been slow since her name was announced in June.
Speaking specifically to Gordon’s nomination, HUD’s chief of staff, Jane Jones, described the difficulty that arises when no government department is fully staffed.
“Obviously for those who are paying attention, and who I think may be many on this call, we are still awaiting confirmation for several of our associate secretaries including the FHA Commissioner,” Jones said in response to an RMD inquiry. Here’s what I’d like to say: The President has fielded a number of highly qualified candidates in several offices for these roles. And I think we all know that government works best when you have a whole group and a full list of committed public servants who are able to lead the business. So obviously we still hope the Senate will move quickly to confirm all of our nominees who are awaiting confirmation.”