Rent Control Proposal For Subsidized Housing Meets Opposition

The Biden administration’s move to cap rent increases for affordable housing units has split support in the industry. Officials announced last week that the administration will impose a 10% cap on YOY rent increases for property owners who are part of the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit program. Currently, LIHTC allows increases of 5% or double the percentage change in national median income, whichever is higher. The proposal would limit rent increases on these properties to no more than 10% annually, doing away with the income change option. Proponents say the plan would help stabilize housing for low-income Americans reliant on subsidized housing. “The decision to prevent egregious rent increases is an important win for the millions of renters living in…

Fudge Resigns As HUD Secretary

Marcia L. Fudge, secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, is unexpectedly resigning due to personal circumstances. Her exit comes after three years at HUD’s helm, having served for almost all of the Biden presidency.  Fudge attributed her decision to her 92-year-old mother, with whom she wants to spend more time, and says she has no plans to run for office again. “It’s time to go home,” Fudge told USA Today. “I do believe strongly that I have done just about everything I could do at HUD for this administration as we go into this crazy, silly season of an election.” Fudge will be just one of a few cabinet members to leave the Biden administration, giving…

MBA Responds To Yellen’s Non-Bank Lender Concerns

The Mortgage Bankers Association responded to comments by U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen who said that independent mortgage banks require regulatory oversight as they navigate commercial real estate debt. In a hearing for the Senate Banking Committee, Yellen said the Financial Stability Oversight Council is focusing on nonbank mortgage companies because they “lack access to deposits, which banks have.” She suggested that financial stress from commercial real estate weakness and low residential refinancing activity could lead to some IMBs failing. “[Non-bank lenders are] reliant on short-term financing that may be a lot less stable than deposits, and in stressful times, their credit lines can be pulled,” Yellen said. “There is concern that in stressful market conditions we could see the…

Former FHA Commissioner And MBA President Remembered For Impact On Housing Industry

By KIMBERLEY HAAS Federal officials and members of the mortgage industry are mourning the loss of David Stevens, who helped the country navigate the aftermath of the 2008 housing crisis before serving as president and CEO of the Mortgage Bankers Association for seven years. Stevens worked as the Federal Housing Administration Commissioner at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development under former President Barack Obama. There from 2009 to 2011, he focused on restoring the administration to fiscal health and was a key player in drafting housing policy, according to an article by Reuters. HUD Secretary Marcia Fudge said on Wednesday in a statement, “This country is better because of David’s service and contributions.” “Over the course of his…

CFPB Director Calls For End To Big Bank Bailouts

By KIMBERLEY HAAS The director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau says it’s time to take big bank bailouts off the table. Rohit Chopra shared his candid opinions on the subject during the Mortgage Bankers Association’s annual convention and expo last week during an on-stage conversation with MBA President and CEO Bob Broeksmit. Chopra said although the financial system is dependent on the banking system operating day-to-day without interruption, he doesn’t think the public should be on the hook for bailing banks out when they get into trouble. “Banks, especially big banks, get a lot of benefits from the public. Big subsidies, direct and indirect, and I don’t think the public should be on the hook for bailing them out…

MBA CEO Critical Of Policymakers At Conference In New York City

By KIMBERLEY HAAS The president and CEO of the Mortgage Bankers Association said they are pushing for clarity and common sense as he criticized policymakers this week during his remarks at the Secondary and Capital Markets Conference and Expo in New York City. Bob Broeksmit said policymakers plan to pile on more enforcement and red tape at a time when MBA member businesses are struggling. “There seems to be a sense, at the highest levels of government, that the mortgage industry needs to be reined in,” Broeksmit said, according to his prepared remarks. Broeksmit referred to the recent failures of Silicon Valley Bank, Signature Bank, and First Republic Bank saying some policymakers are now pushing for new rules that could…

UWM Embattled on Multiple Fronts Over Treatment of Lenders, Employees

By DARIA BACHMANN United Wholesale Mortgage is facing more public scrutiny as court battles — and backlash from brokers — mount. The second-largest mortgage lender in the nation, UWM has come under criticism over how it treats both its employees and its customers. UWM announced in April it would force brokers to sign an agreement that they will not work with Rocket Mortgage or Fairway Independent Mortgage – or else be banned from work with UWM, the largest wholesale mortgage lender.  Mortgage industry leaders called the ban “unethical and uncompetitive.” Bob Broeksmit, head of the Mortgage Bankers Association, said at the time, “MBA does not condone activities designed to thwart competition in the mortgage market and limit loan options available to borrowers.” UWM,…

Industry Responds To Thompson Nomination

President Biden will nominate Sandra Thompson to become the permanent director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), the White House announced in a statement on Tuesday. Thompson is the current acting head of the FHFA, having taken over the position in June when Biden replaced Mark Calabria. She would serve a five-year term after her approval by the Senate. Though Thompson has held the position since June, her nomination was at one point in question. Biden faced criticism in September when rumors spread that he was considering nominating Center for Responsible Lending President Michael Calhoun. Thompson maintained support among Democratic politicians focused on housing, especially House Financial Services Chair Maxine Waters, which may have solidified her position. “We will…

Mortgage Industry Reacts To Powell Renomination

After weeks of waiting, President Biden announced Monday he is renominating Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome H. Powell to another four-year term. Now analysts are asking what impact another Powell term will mean to mortgage rates and the housing market. The move has been characterized as a return to the status quo in which the Fed chairman is reappointed regardless of their political identity, a tradition former President Trump bucked when he appointed Powell. The Fed chairman question has been on many industry watchers’ minds in the last two weeks. Much was made of Biden’s sit down with Fed Governor Lael Brainard, seen as the most likely candidate if Biden chose to make a change. Brainard has instead been nominated as…