Bringing Families Together: Could ADUs Help Millennials Get The Housing They Need?

By ERIN FLYNN JAY and KIMBERLEY HAAS A recent report from Redfin shows that Baby Boomers with empty nests own double the amount of large homes compared to Millennials with kids. So what if Grandma and Grandpa moved into an accessory dwelling unit and the three generations lived together so everyone could have some space? According to the report, Millennials with kids own 14% of the nation’s large homes, which are defined as having three or more bedrooms. Baby Boomers living by themselves or with one other person own 28% of these properties. Partially to blame is affordability. 2023 was the least affordable year for homebuying on record, with median-priced homes costing about $410,000, according to Redfin. Additionally, 54% of…

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…

HUD Officials Lay Out Wins, Impacts On Homeownership

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Marcia Fudge testified before the House Committee on Financial Services this week, emphasizing the department’s progress in tackling the affordability crisis. “When this Administration began, conditions were bleak. During the COVID-19 pandemic, millions of Americans lost or had little access to quality, safe, and affordable housing. Many more were at severe risk of losing their homes,” Fudge said in prepared remarks. “Now, three years later, HUD has made historic strides to provide direct housing assistance, expand opportunities for homeownership and affordable rental housing, root out discrimination in housing, and build strong and resilient communities in urban centers and rural areas, alike.” Fudge noted, however, that the need for HUD assistance is “ever-growing.”…

Opinion: HUD Homeless Count Fails To Connect Dots On Supply And Displacement

By EDWARD PINTO On December 15, HUD released its annual Point-In-Time (PIT) homeless and housing inventory counts (HIC) conducted in January 2023. The key finding was that homelessness reached a record high as the 2023 annual count increased 12% and 18% respectively from 2022 and 2017. The average rate of homelessness per 1,000 population in 2023 was 20. The PIT is calculated for the 381 local and state Continuums of Care (CoC), which HUD uses to track homelessness. The hundred-plus page report had lots of data along with a handful of anecdotal references to burgeoning housing purchase and rental costs. However, it contained precious little insight as to the steps needed to address our burgeoning homeless problem. Conspicuous in its…

New Home Sales Slowed To A Crawl In November

New home sales sank again in November despite cooling mortgage rates, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Sales fell by 12.2% from October to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 590,000, well below the rate of 685,000 units predicted by economists. This is the sharpest decline since April 2022. November saw the beginning of a cool down that brought interest rates to the mid-6’s. But at the start of that process, rates were at their highest levels in more than two decades, nearing 8%. New home sales were up only 1.4% year-over-year, a notable decline from the month prior’s 17.7% YOY increase. Lack of existing inventory pushed buyers to new…

New Home Sales Sank In October

New home sales sank in October as mortgage rates priced potential buyers out of the market, according to newly released data from the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Sales fell by 5.6% from September to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 679,000, below the rate of 730,000 units predicted by economists. New home sales are up 17.7% year-over-year, however, as lack of existing inventory pushes buyers to new construction. There were 439,000 new homes for sale at the end of October, representing a 7.8-month supply at the current sales rate. The median sales price of new houses sold in October 2023 was $409,300, while the average sales price was $487,000, both down by more…

Link Between Housing And Health Highlighted By HUD

By KIMBERLEY HAAS The Biden-Harris Administration has released a set of actions to better social determinants of health and officials at the US Department of Housing and Urban Development say it shows the importance of housing as a key driver of health outcomes. The U.S. Playbook to Address Social Determinants of Health says social determinants of health are defined as “the conditions in the environments where people are born, live, learn, work, play, worship, and age that affect a wide range of health, functioning, and quality-of-life outcomes and risks.” These account for as much as 50% of county-level health outcomes, according to the playbook. The playbook says housing insecurity is associated with increased mental health challenges, adverse birth outcomes for…

Official: New ADU Policy Will Boost Supply Of Affordable Housing

By KIMBERLEY HAAS A new policy that allows lenders to count income from accessory dwelling units when underwriting a mortgage will help provide affordable homes for those who need them most, according to a top housing official. Julia Gordon, who serves as the assistant secretary for housing and federal housing commissioner at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, spoke about the changes last week during her remarks at the Mortgage Bankers Association’s annual convention and expo in Philadelphia. “We’re going to allow both existing rental income for ADUs, and prospective rental income, to be included in the underwriting process to allow more borrowers to purchase properties with ADUs, to rehab existing houses to add ADUs, and to construct…

Low Income Housing Getting Solar Panels, More From Program Established By Inflation Reduction Act

By KIMBERLEY HAAS Officials at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development have awarded funding from a program established by the Inflation Reduction Act to owners of assisted multifamily housing properties and the money is going to climate-related investments. The act, signed into law by President Joe Biden on Aug. 16, 2022, has done little to reduce inflation but is considered the most significant policy action on clean energy in United States history. It established the Green and Resilient Retrofit Program, providing HUD with $837.5 million in grant and loan subsidy funding and $4 billion in loan commitment authority. According to a press release issued on Wednesday, money from the program will enable building owners to invest in geothermal…

Mortgage Assistance Available To Maui Wildfire Victims As Developers Told To Stay Away

By KIMBERLEY HAAS Federal housing officials have pledged to support people affected by the wildfires on the Hawaiian island of Maui as the state’s governor warns developers to stay away. Officials from Ginnie Mae, the Federal Housing Administration, the Federal Housing Finance Agency, the United States Department of Agriculture, and the United States Department of Veterans Affairs issued a joint statement on Friday saying they are “committed to providing homeowners flexibilities and assistance so they feel the security of knowing they will have the option to return and rebuild when it is safe to do so.” FHA-approved lenders doing business in Maui are encouraged to familiarize loan officers and operational teams with FHA’s 203(h) Disaster Mortgage, which provides up to…