HUD Secretary Julián Castro was grilled by Republican members of the House Financial Services Committee at a February 11 hearing focused on oversight of the Federal Housing Administration (FHA). Questions from lawmakers focused primarily on the department’s plans to lower FHA premiums for homebuyers by half a percent. The decision is part of an Obama Administration initiative to expand affordable housing options for all Americans.
Specifically, in his opening remarks Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) said that FHA’s decision was the “administration’s taxpayer-funded ‘race to the bottom’ to become the nation’s largest subprime lender.” In addition, Douglas Holtz-Eakin, president of the American Action Forum, was interviewed following the hearing and emphasized that “getting low-income, higher-risk borrowers into homes” was the attitude that “got us in trouble.”
Hensarling also said that lowering premiums, when FHA’s Mutual Mortgage Insurance Fund was already underfunded, was a bad precedent and “against the law.”
While there is no question that our nation needs strong single-family and multifamily sectors that work together, the multifamily industry’s ability to increase the supply of available apartments in order to meet current demand also directly helps housing affordability.
NMHC/NAA continues to work closely with the Administration, Congress and HUD to ensure that the multifamily industry can best serve our 37 million residents and strengthen communities across the country.
- NMHC/NAA Sign On to Industry Letter Requesting Continuation of FHA/FFB Loan Programs
- NMHC/NAA Letter to HUD Regarding Risk Sharing
- Dodd-Frank, GSEs and FHA in Republican Crosshairs
- HUD Issues Final Multifamily Mortgage Insurance Rates
- NMHC and NAA Applaud Proposal to Cut FHA Mortgage Insurance Premiums