HUD lists 2018 housing accomplishments

Names reverse mortgage adjustments, disaster relief, community reinvestment among highlights

On Friday, the Department of Housing and Urban Development released a list of its accomplishments in 2018 under the leadership of Secretary Ben Carson.

In the last year, the agency said its programs have spurred reinvestment in communities, advanced economic opportunity, reduced homelessness, funded disaster recovery and protected taxpayers.

The Federal Housing Administration insured loans for 669,000 homeowners in fiscal year 2018 who were either first-time buyers or who had low to moderate incomes, according to the release. It also produced or preserved 121,600 multifamily units and provided $2.45 billion in insurance for hospital and residential care facilities.

In enumerating the steps it took to reduce taxpayer risk, HUD noted that it exceeded the mandatory 2% capital ratio on the Mutual Mortgage Insurance Fund by not decreasing mortgage insurance premiums.

It also said it made “several needed changes” to the reverse mortgage program to improve its financial performance, including the institution of the second appraisal rule on select HECM loans.

HUD said reducing inflated appraisals on HECM properties “should reduce the claim amounts FHA may be paying out unnecessarily for HECM mortgages.”

HUD also said its programs have reduced homelessness among veterans 5.4% from the previous year, which is down by almost half from 2010, and reduced the number of homeless families with children 2.7% from 2017, down 29% since 2010.

The department said it took steps to aid in disaster relief efforts after 2018’s surge in natural disasters. HUD said it allocated more than $35 billion to support recovery efforts among 16 state and local governments.

“Over the past year, the Trump Administration has continued to deliver on its promise to create greater economic opportunity for low-income families and encourage reinvestment in underserved communities,” Carson said. “HUD is advancing its mission by providing sustainable homeownership opportunities, removing barriers to revitalization and affordable housing, and helping communities impacted by natural disasters rebuild, among other efforts. I look forward to continue building on the successes of the past year and opening more pathways to self-sufficiency for HUD-assisted families.”

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