Agreement Reached In Tribal Land Loan Dispute

By KIMBERLEY HAAS Officials at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development have reached an agreement with Rocket Mortgage after the company allegedly denied a loan to a couple hoping to buy a home on tribal land. According to a press release, the single-family home was located within the boundaries of the Flathead Indian Reservation in St. Ignatius, Montana. Because Rocket denied the couple’s loan application based on race, they were “forced to pay a higher interest rate and accept a loan from another lender on less favorable terms.” Rocket and the banker involved in the complaint deny any violation of the law under the agreement. They do acknowledge their duty to not discriminate under the Fair Housing Act.…

HUD, White House Announce $5.5B In Housing Grants

The White House and HUD announced funding for urgently needed affordable housing and community development. More than 1,000 communities will receive $5.5 billion in grants. The money will go toward various housing-related areas, including resources for homebuilding, supporting renters and homeowners, and assistance for the homeless. “Homeownership is an essential part of the American Dream that represents so much more than a roof over our heads,” Vice President Kamala Harris said. “That is why President Biden and I are expanding on our historic investments in housing by announcing $5.5 billion that will increase access to affordable housing, invest in economic growth, and address homelessness in communities throughout America. This funding will build more affordable homes and support renters and homeowners…

New Final Rule Aims To Boost Native American Homeownership

The Department of Housing and Urban Development announced a final rule aimed at boosting homeownership for Native American families. The final rule “clarifies the rules governing Tribal participation in the program” while establishing underwriting requirements, rules on the closing and endorsement process, stronger and clearer servicing requirements, as well as other updated standards. It is designed to increase lender participation in the Section 184 Indian Housing Loan Guarantee program and strengthen regulations to align with its current needs. HUD says it worked closely with Tribal leaders to create a program that would genuinely boost homeownership in their communities. The new regulations increase borrower protections and “encourage new lender participation.” “Homeownership is key to building generational wealth. By enhancing the Section…

Alanna McCargo Steps Down As Ginnie Mae President

Ginnie Mae’s Alanna McCargo is leaving the company and returning to private life, the Department of Housing and Urban Development announced. McCargo, who has served a president of the Government National Mortgage Association (Ginnie Mae) since January 2022, called the move a “deeply personal decision.” “The past 3.5 years in public service with the Biden-Harris Administration has been the most important and fulfilling work of my 25-year career in housing finance and I am deeply grateful for the opportunity to serve my country and advance a bold housing agenda across the globe as President of Ginnie Mae,” she said in a statement. Her resignation will go into effect on May 1. Principal Executive Vice President Sam Valverde will serve as…

Andrew Lofton Named HUD Northwest Administrator

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development named Andrew Lofton as Regional Administrator for the Northwest, according to a press release. Lofton will oversee HUD operations in Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington, representing the department while working with state and local officials on housing issues. “It is an honor to serve the Biden Harris Administration and the people in the great Northwest, where I am blessed to call home,” said Lofton. Lofton lives in Washinton, where he was born. He will be responsible for overseeing the delivery of HUD programs and services to these states while evaluating their efficiency and effectiveness. “We are excited to welcome Andrew Lofton as the Regional Administrator for HUD’s Northwest Region,” said Acting Secretary…

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…

Biden Addresses Housing Crisis In State Of The Union

President Biden used the State of the Union address Thursday to tackle the nation’s housing crisis and propose big plans to boost activity. “I know the cost of housing is so important to you. If inflation keeps coming down, mortgage rates will come down as well. But I’m not waiting,” he said in the address. The administration proposed a mortgage relief plan providing first-time homebuyers an annual credit of $5,000 for two years, effectively a $10,000 mortgage rate buydown that would save as much money as a 1.5% rate reduction. Another credit, aimed at current homeowners, would offer a one-year, $10,000 credit to families who sell their starter homes, helping to turn inventory over. More than 3.5 million middle-class buyers…

HUD Commemorates Black History Month

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development commemorated Black History Month by highlighting its impact on the Black community. “This Black History Month, we celebrate all that Black Americans have contributed to our great nation,” Secretary Marcia Fudge said in a statement. “As the 18th Secretary of Housing and Urban Development and a student of history, today I honor the legacy of one of my personal heroes, Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune. Dr. Bethune was a scholar, activist, and champion of racial and gender advancement. Despite being born Black and a woman in America at a time when both groups were denied equal protection under the law, she worked tirelessly to change our country for the better. Like Dr. Bethune,…

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…