HUD, FHFA ‘Correct’ Stance on Freddie Purchasing Mortgages Secured by Group Homes

The U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) and the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) issued a joint statement Wednesday addressing an “incorrect” policy regarding Freddie Mac’s ability to purchase mortgages secured by a property owned by an individual and rented to a group home for persons with disabilities. “The clarifications follow a HUD investigation of a mortgage lender who had refused to lend to a homeowner that was renting their property to a company that was operating a group home,” the joint statement reads. “The lender’s refusal was based on the incorrect belief that Freddie Mac would not agree to buy the mortgage. After HUD reported this misunderstanding to Freddie Mac and FHFA, Freddie Mac worked with both…

Morning Roundup (8/31/21) – Forbearance Numbers Unchanged, Freddie Mac Confirms Disaster Relief

Good Morning! Today is Tuesday, Aug. 31. The war in Afghanistan ended yesterday when the final US military plane left Kabul. President Biden, who was silent yesterday, is expected to address the nation this afternoon. Hurricane Ida left more than one million people with no electricity or water on the Gulf Coast. California ordered an evacuation along Lake Tahoe due to the Caldor fire.And in mortgage and housing news… Forbearance Numbers Hold: The number of mortgage loans in forbearance remains unchanged from last week, holding at 3.25% according to the latest report from the Mortgage Bankers Association. Freddie’s Here To Help: Freddie Mac reminded homeowners and mortgage servicers of its immediate disaster relief options for those affected by Hurricane Ida. In Further Freddie News: Freddie Mac now projects that…

HUD Announces $455M In Housing Grants

The US Department of Housing and Urban Development announced $450 million in housing block grants to support affordable housing, as well as another $5 million for Native Hawaiians. The Indian Housing Block Grants will be used to help Tribes carry out affordable housing activities to protect the safety and health of their Tribal members and communities during the Covid-19 pandemic. The list of tribes receiving the grants can be found here. Indian Housing Block Grants pay for housing development, operation and maintenance, modernization of existing housing, housing services to eligible families and individuals, housing management services, crime prevention and safety activities, and model activities that provide creative approaches to solving affordable housing problems in Indian Country. “With the enactment of the…

Did Secretary Fudge Violate The Hatch Act?

Housing and Urban Development Secretary touched off a mini political storm last week when she answered a political question in the White House briefing room, raising concerns that she violated the Hatch Act in the process. The Hatch Act prohibits executive branch employees from engaging political activity as part of their government work. They can do political work, but it must be separated from their government jobs. Fudge was in the White House briefing room Thursday with Press Secretary Jen Psaki when she was asked by a reporter about the race to succeed her in Congress. She declined to answer, but was then asked about the Ohio Senate race. Here is how she responded when asked if there were any…

Secretary Fudge’s Welcome Remarks At HUD

The Department of Housing and Urban Development posted a welcome video from new Secretary Marcia Fudge, who was sworn in Wednesday after being confirmed by the Senate earlier in the day. Here is her video: And here are the remarks: A good home shapes nearly every part of our lives. It’s where we start and end each day. It’s where we raise our families and come together in times of joy. It’s where we find shelter and comfort during times of hardship. The past year has reminded us just how important it is to have a safe and stable place to call home. But, right now-for millions of Americans-that sense of security and peace of mind is out of reach.…

Senate Confirms Fudge As HUD Secretary

The Senate voted 66-34 on Wednesday to confirm former Rep. Marcia Fudge as the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, as the nation’s housing market faces major challenges in the coming months with the end of bans on evictions and foreclosures. “I’m honored to serve as the 18th Secretary of Housing and Urban Development,” Fudge said in her welcome remarks. “I am proud to join a group of public servants who work with compassion and determination to change the lives of those in need. And I can’t wait to get started.” Last week, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau reported that millions of Americans face foreclosure and eviction from their homes once housing pandemic protections come to an end. The CFPB…

HUD Official Resigns After Capitol Siege

A high-ranking Department of Housing and Urban Development official announced his resignation on Thursday, a day a mob took over the U.S. Capitol. Hunter Kurtz, Assistant Secretary for Public and Indian Housing, stepped down on the same day Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos announced their resignations, among others. “I have informed the Secretary that I will be resigning today at the close of business,” Kurtz wrote in an email to HUD staff. I just want to take a moment and thank you. Being the Assistant Secretary for Public and Indian Housing and working with you over the past 18 months has truly been the greatest honor and privilege of my life. During this time, we have…

Biden Officially Nominates Fudge To Lead HUD

President-elect Joe Biden on Thursday officially announced that Ohio Congresswoman Marcia Fudge as the nominee for Secretary of Housing and Urban Development. Fudge, who had wanted to lead the Department of Agriculture, was one of five major appointments unveiled. They include Tom Vilsack (USDA), Denis McDonough (Veterans Affairs), Katherine Tai (US Trade Representative) and Susan Rice (director of White House Policy Council). “This dedicated and distinguished group of public servants will bring the highest level of experience, compassion, and integrity to bear, solving problems and expanding possibilities for the American people in the face of steep challenges,” Biden said. “The roles they will take on are where the rubber meets the road — where competent and crisis-tested governance can make…

Reports: Biden To Nominate Fudge For HUD

President-elect Joe Biden is expected to name Congresswoman Marcia Fudge of Ohio as the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, according to media reports Tuesday. No official announcement of the appointment has been made, as the Biden team has been leaking cabinet selections to the media in advance of formal announcements a day or so later. Fudge, D-Ohio, had sought to lead the USDA – and even seemed to balk at the idea that she might end up at HUD. She told Politico in November that Black leaders too often are pigeon-holed for only certain cabinet positions, including HUD. As this country becomes more and more diverse, we’re going to have to stop looking at only certain agencies as those that people like me…

FHA Proposes Allowing Private Flood Insurance

The Federal Housing Administration on Tuesday proposed allowing a private flood insurance option instead of insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program when flood insurance is required by FHA. The rule would allow lenders to accept private flood insurance policies for single family insured loans for homes located in Federal Emergency Management Agency-designated Special Flood Hazard Areas. This would be consistent with similar provisions in use by other industry participants. “Our proposal would expand the options for obtaining flood insurance, rather than continuing to lock in borrowers to one federal option without any ability to comparison shop,” Assistant Secretary for Housing and Federal Housing Commissioner Dana Wade said. “We are also proposing important safeguards that will help protect borrowers, so…