HUD looks back on 2021 achievements – RISMedia
The US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has taken bold steps this year in pursuit of the agency’s mission to create strong, sustainable and inclusive communities and quality affordable housing. These actions were aligned with key priorities of the Biden-Harris administration, including ensuring fairness, removing barriers to homeownership, expanding the nation’s housing supply and maintaining Americans in housing.
Here are highlights of some of the agency’s actions from 2021:
Launch of whole-of-government effort to ensure all Americans are treated fairly in the home appraisal process
On June 1, President Biden tasked Secretary Fudge with leading a one-of-a-kind, interagency initiative to tackle inequalities in home ratings. In partnership with the Domestic Policy Council, HUD created the Real Property Appraisal and Valuation Working Group (PAVE), bringing together 15 federal agencies to identify and use all the levers at their disposal to eliminate discrimination in the home appraisal and purchase process. The working group explored the extent, causes and impacts of poor assessment faced by communities of color, gathering feedback from industry, advocates and other stakeholders, and developing new approaches. policies around direction and application. This work will be presented to the President and the public early next year, documenting the extent of the problem and providing detailed and actionable commitments and recommendations from the agency for next steps.
Launch of an all-in-one effort to tackle the homelessness crisis
On September 20, Secretary Fudge launched House America, a nationwide partnership with other government officials, mayors, county officials, governors and leaders of tribal nations across the country. The plan works with these leaders to use resources from the US Rescue Plan (ARP) to relocate at least 100,000 homeless people and add at least 20,000 new affordable and permanent supportive housing units to tackle homelessness in the development pipeline by the end of 2022.
Prevention of evictions and seizures
The HUD has helped prevent the eviction of HUD-assisted households and stabilize families struggling due to the COVID-19 pandemic by deploying historic funding made available under the Consolidated Appropriations Act and the ARP to help keep families in stable housing. HUD worked closely with the White House and the Department of the Treasury, providing the department’s expertise to help FAQs and best practices for the Emergency Rental Assistance Program. HUD also helped homeowners who may have been behind on their mortgages stay in their homes and worked with the Treasury to engage stakeholders around the use of the Homeowner Assistance Fund and its integration with the news. policies issued by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) to help troubled homeowners. guard their homes.
A new $ 5 billion HOME-ARP program has been set up to help some of the country’s most vulnerable populations
HUD has successfully implemented an all-new $ 5 billion program to help some of the country’s most vulnerable populations, including people or households who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. The Office of Community Planning and Development has made funds available to 651 state and local governments, which will be used to reduce homelessness and increase housing stability by providing funds for rental housing development, acquisition and development of non-collective shelters, rental housing, assistance and support services. HUD freed up a portion of grantee administrative funds at the start of the program to better support planning activities that lead to effective use of grant funding.
Homeownership Barriers Removed for People With Debt on Student Loans
The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) updated its policy on monthly student loan payment calculations to remove barriers and provide better access to affordable FHA-insured mortgage financing for creditworthy people with student loan debt. , which has a disproportionate impact on communities of color. The updates removed the previous requirement that lenders had to calculate a borrower’s monthly student loan payment of 1% of the outstanding student loan balance for student loans that are not fully amortized. The new policy bases the monthly payment on the actual student loan payment, aligning FHA policies more closely with industry standards.
Set the stage for more equitable execution and access to housing and loans
HUD signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) to launch a landmark collaboration on fair housing and equitable loan application and oversight engagement with entities regulated by the FHFA, notably Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the Federal Home Loan Banks. This global effort will ensure closer collaboration on fair housing surveys and enable data sharing to help strengthen and positively advance fair housing for the mortgage industry. In addition, HUD has issued a legal memorandum making it clear that certain Special Purpose Credit Programs (SPCPs) that are legal under the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA) are generally not prohibited by the Act. equitable housing, allowing their use by lenders to expand access to credit in underserved communities.
Took measures to increase housing supply and access to affordable housing
HUD relaunched its Housing Finance Agency (HFA) risk-sharing program with the Treasury’s Federal Finance Bank (FFB) on September 1 to develop more affordable rental housing. The program allows HFAs to obtain FHA insurance on the multi-family mortgages they take out, with the HUD and HFA sharing the risk of any potential loss. The FHA predicts that approximately 20,000 affordable rental housing units will be created or maintained through the program through 2027. HUD has also made more single-family homes available to individuals, families and nonprofits, rather than to non-profit organizations. large investors, prioritizing homeownership and limiting the sale to large investors of certain FHA-insured and HUD-owned properties. HUD has also published new research on actions state and local governments can take to increase their housing supply, and is developing a housing supply toolkit filled with easy-to-implement strategies for beneficiaries to deploy. HUD resources to address the supply and affordability challenges that were explored further. by the pandemic.
Reinstatement of the requirement of positive promotion of fair housing (AFFH)
The ministry issued an Interim Final Rule (IFR) that came into effect on July 31 to reinstate the implementation of the AFFH requirement of the Fair Housing Act. Under the AFFH regulatory definition restored in the IFR, HUD funding recipients must regularly certify compliance with the AFFH requirement of the Fair Housing Act and commit to taking action to address their fair housing issues by making such certifications. IFR helps HUD, 3,747 public housing authorities, and 1,200 recipients of state and local government grants in the CDBG, HOME and HOPWA programs, meet their AFFH obligations under the Fair Housing Act.
Historically strong Mutual Mortgage Insurance Fund (MMI)
HUD announced a historically strong Mutual Mortgage Insurance Fund report showing that in addition to focusing on providing relief options to homeowners financially affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, the FHA has continued to fulfilling its mission of enabling first-time, low-cost homeownership. and moderate income, and households of color. The fund remains well placed to withstand future economic events and bear the consequences of delinquencies induced by the pandemic which remain unresolved or are seriously delinquent. The percentage of first-time buyers using FHA insurance has reached a new high, the share of FHA-insured mortgages to minority borrowers has reached nearly 42% of all FHA term mortgage riders. The FHA has served double the percentage of black and Hispanic borrowers compared to those served through mortgage packages by the rest of the housing market in the past fiscal year.
Protecting the LGBTQ + Community from Housing Discrimination
On February 11, HUD announced that it would interpret the Fair Housing Act to prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, in accordance with President Biden’s Executive Order 13988 and the Supreme Court ruling. in Bostock v. Clayton County. This decision extended the protections of the Fair Housing Act to a community historically subject to discrimination. Through its partner agencies FHIP and FHAP, HUD handled 235 cases of allegations of sex discrimination on the basis of gender identity and sexual orientation last year, nearly twice as many cases than last year.
Development and publication of HUD’s climate action plan
On November 11, HUD released a comprehensive agency-wide report Climate action plan, which details a strategy to reduce the agency’s energy and carbon footprint and put our country’s communities on the path to building more equitable, efficient and sustainable housing infrastructure. The Climate Action Plan was developed in response to President Biden’s request Executive Decree on the fight against the climate crisis in the country and abroad. In accordance with the decree, as well as the decision of the president Justice Initiative40to advance environmental justice and racial equity, HUD will implement a comprehensive approach to the climate crisis that reduces climate pollution; increases resilience to the impacts of climate change; protects public health; provides environmental justice; and stimulates the creation of well-paid union jobs and economic growth.
Helped communities rebuild after disasters
In November, HUD announced the allocation of more than $ 2 billion in disaster funds for communities in 10 states covering 15 major disasters, including wildfires in California, hurricanes in Louisiana and earthquakes in Porto. Rico. And will continue to work with our partners to bring relief to other communities rebuilding from natural disasters, including tornado victims in Kentucky. Additionally, HUD has taken significant steps to reset its relationship with Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands and to address ongoing recovery and resilience needs. This includes the obligation of long-awaited disaster recovery funds and the removal of onerous restrictions on grants, such as additional grant obligations, Federal Financial Monitor review, and more. Today, 90% of pledged funds have been committed to Puerto Rico, an increase of $ 16 billion since administration began.