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.…

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…

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…

Mortgage Applicants Denied For Insufficient Income At Increasing Rates

As affordability sank in 2022, potential buyers struggled against rising fees and were denied loans for a lack of income, according to a new analysis from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Mortgage applications and originations declined last year as the market corrected from the low-rate-fueled pandemic housing boom. At the same time, affordability sunk to new lows, fees rose more than 20% YOY, and borrowers faced rising monthly costs. “The higher interest rate environment had profound effects on the mortgage market in 2022, with borrowers paying much more in monthly payments,” CFPB Director Rohit Chopra said. “These trends are likely to continue given further increases in interest rates in 2023.” Today, the national median payment applied for by purchase applicants…

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…

Foreclosures In New Jersey: $10 Million Set Aside To Help

By KIMBERLEY HAAS State officials in New Jersey will use $10 million in federal funding to purchase mortgage notes of homes on the verge of foreclosure to stem the loss of single-family houses to rental property investment firms. When Governor Phil Murphy made the announcement, officials said his administration anticipates using the funding from the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 to purchase non-performing mortgage notes from the FHA prior to foreclosure proceedings. If the homeowner still lives at the property, efforts will be made to assist them. If the property has been abandoned, steps will be taken to obtain the title. The property will be rehabilitated and put back on the market, according to a press release. New Jersey’s…