HUD

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) announced that it is seeking grant proposals to award up to $700,000 in grant funding for projects that promote the development of innovative and successful Native American firms that are eligible for assistance under the SBA’s 7(j) Management and Technical Assistance Program.

The SBA expects to award three to seven grants to provide funding opportunities for Native American Micro Enterprise Business Services.

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WASHINGTON– U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Julián Castro announced new changes to strengthen a federal program called “Section 3” that directs jobs and training to low-income workers and connects businesses that hire them with HUD-funded contracting opportunities.  The initiative would increase opportunities for businesses that hire local public housing residents for HUD-funded projects. In addition to changes to Section 3 requirements, Secretary Castro also announced the launch of a National Section 3 Business Registry. The registry is a searchable online database that local housing authorities, government agencies, and contractors can use to find firms that are self-certified as employing at least 30 percent public housing residents or low-income workers.

“All Americans should have the chance to contribute to the development and growth of their own communities,” said HUD Secretary Julián Castro. “These Section 3 initiatives will connect more hard-working folks and small businesses to local economic opportunities, giving them new tools to secure a more prosperous future.”

Every year, HUD funds create thousands of jobs across the country that range from construction to professional services like accounting or engineering. From 2009-2014, based on data reported by public housing authorities and HUD modeling, approximately 170,000 jobs were created by HUD for eligible low-income workers through this program.More than $5 billion in HUD-funded contracts has been directed to Section 3 businesses since 2009. While businesses are only required to hire 30 percent low-income workers, that goal has been exceeded nationally. About 50 percent of new hires for HUD-funded contracts are low-income workers or public housing residents.

Section 3 of the Housing and Urban Development Act of 1968 states that, “employment and other economic opportunities generated by Federal financial assistance for housing and community development programs shall, to the greatest extent feasible, be directed toward low- and very low-income persons, particularly those who are recipients of government assistance for housing, and to businesses that employ them.”  Since 1994, the Section 3 program has been governed by an interim regulation. For the first time in 20 years, HUD is proposing a new rule today that would expand opportunities for public housing residents and low-income workers.

In 2012, HUD launched a five-city pilot Section 3 Business Registry in Detroit, Los Angeles, Miami, New Orleans and Washington, DC to help local public agencies better connect local businesses that hire low-income residents and workers with the contracting and economic development opportunities created by HUD-funded  housing and development projects, something that is required under Section 3 guidelines. Nearly 1,000 businesses have signed up for the registry nationally. Today, in Miami, Secretary Castro applauded the nearly 300 Section 3 businesses that have signed up for the registry statewide.  HUD announced that the initiative will now become national.

In addition, the proposed rule announced today would recognize new HUD programs established since 1994 that are required to meet low-income and public housing resident hiring goals. It also clarifies vague language in the interim rule and eases challenges to achieving compliance. HUD is currently accepting feedback on the proposed rule during a 60-day public comment period.

 

HUD-VASH vouchers in Indian Country will build on national effort to end Veteran homelessness

WASHINGTON – Today the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced that the HUD and U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) program that helps homeless veterans find permanent supportive housing will, for the first time, expand directly into Native American communities.  This support for veterans is provided through the HUD-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) Program which combines rental assistance from HUD with case management and clinical services provided by VA.

The HUD-VASH program will now be opened to tribes so they may directly serve Native American veterans living on or near tribal lands. To expand the HUD-VASH program, $4 million will be invested specifically to support Native American veterans experiencing homelessness by providing them with secure housing and connecting them with clinical services and case management. This groundbreaking new effort will expand opportunity for approximately 650 veterans who are currently homeless or at risk of homelessness.

“Ensuring that our men and women who served in uniform receive the care and support they’ve earned is a national responsibility,” said HUD SecretaryJulián Castro.  “But for too long, fulfilling that responsibility to many Native American veterans has been borne by Indian Country alone. We’re changing that this year.”

Expanding the HUD-VASH program will inform and improve how HUD serves Native American veterans, as well as further the goals of ending homelessness in tribal communities more broadly. While there is a need for the program in Indian Country, HUD is calling on both national and regional Native American leaders, associations and communities to offer insight into the design of the expansion, including ways that tribes estimate homelessness, what criteria HUD should establish in allocating funding, what medical providers are offering care to veterans, and how HUD can target program assistance in ways that encourage the creation of new housing.

To expedite the program expansion, HUD has requested tribal responses through its Office of Native American Programs within 30 days rather than the traditional 60 day comment period.

In addition, six of HUD’s Regional Field Offices will host public listening sessions with Native American communities in their areas. Those who can attend sessions are encouraged to do so.

As HUD celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, Secretary Castro is focused on advancing policies that create opportunities for all Americans, including the broader Administration goal of ending homelessness among veterans. HUD-VASH is an important part of that effort to provide critical housing and services to veterans experiencing homelessness that also includes HUD’s Continuum of Care program, VA’s Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF), and the Mayors Challenge to End Veteran Homelessness.

Since the release of Opening Doors, the nation’s first ever Federal strategicplan to prevent and end homelessness, all forms of homelessness have declined significantly, particularly among veterans.In November 2014, HUD, VA and the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH) released a national estimate of veteran homelessness in the United States which showed a decline of 33 percent (or 24,837 people) since 2010.  This includes a nearly 40 percent drop in the number of unsheltered veterans sleeping on the street.

Since 2008, HUD and VA have awarded almost 70,000 HUD-VASH vouchers and served more than 82,000 veterans experiencing homelessness.  Rental assistance and support services provided through HUD-VASH are a critical resource for local communities in ending homelessness among veterans.

In the traditional HUD-VASH program, VA Medical Centers (VAMCs) assess veterans experiencing homelessness before referring them to local housing agencies for these vouchers. Decisions are traditionally based on a variety of factors, most importantly the duration of homelessness and the need for longer term, more intensive support in obtaining and maintaining permanent housing.  The HUD-VASH program includes both the rental assistance the voucher provides and the comprehensive case management that VAMC staff offers.

Veterans participating in the traditional HUD-VASH program rent privately owned housing and generally contribute no more than 30 percent of their income toward rent.  VA offers eligible veterans experiencing homelessness with clinical and supportive services through its medical centers across the U.S., Guam and Puerto Rico.

Guidance allows lenders to assign loan to HUD and keep non-borrowing spouse in the home

 

WASHINGTON – The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) today issued a new policy under its Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) Program giving FHA-approved lenders the option to delay calling HECMs with eligible  ‘non-borrowing spouses’ due and payable.  A delay would postpone foreclosure normally triggered by the death of the last surviving borrower.   FHA’s new guidance will allow reverse mortgage lenders to assign eligible HECMs to HUD upon the death of the last surviving borrowing spouse, thereby allowing eligible surviving spouses the opportunity to remain in the home despite their non-borrowing status.

 

Last year, FHA amended its HECM policies to allow for the deferral of foreclosure, or ‘due and payable status’ for certain Eligible Non-Borrowing Spouses for case numbers assigned on or after August 4, 2014.  Today’s action allows lenders to offer similar treatment for eligible HECMs and Eligible Non-Borrowing Spouses with FHA case numbers issued before August 4, 2014.

 

Under FHA’s new policy, lenders will be allowed to pursue claim payments for HECMs with Eligible Surviving Non-Borrowing Spouses and Case Numbers assigned before August 4, 2014 by:

 

  • Allowing claim payment following sale of the property by heirs or estate;
  • Foreclosing in accordance with the terms of the mortgage, and filing an insurance claim under the FHA insurance contract as endorsed; or
  • Electing to assign the HECM to HUD upon the death of the last surviving borrower, where the HECM would not otherwise be assignable to FHA. (The MOE Assignment)

 

By electing the Mortgagee Optional Election Assignment, lenders will be permitted to modify their FHA mortgage insurance contracts to permit assignment of an eligible HECM to HUD despite the HECM being eligible to be called due and payable as a result of the death of the last surviving borrower.

Read FHA’s new mortgagee letter.

WASHINGTON – U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro today announced the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) will reduce the annual premiums new borrowers will pay by half of a percent.  This action is projected to save more than two million FHA homeowners an average of $900 annually and spur 250,000 new homebuyers to purchase their first home over the next three years.

Today’s action also reflects the improved economic health of FHA’s Mutual Mortgage Insurance Fund (MMIF).  FHA’s recent annual report to Congress demonstrates the economic condition of the agency’s single-family insurance fund continues to improve, adding $21 billion in value over the past two years.

“This action will make homeownership more affordable for over two million Americans in the next three years,” said U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro.  “Since 2009, the Obama Administration has taken bold steps to reduce risks in the mortgage market and to protect consumers.  These efforts have made it possible to take this prudent measure while also ensuring FHA remains on a positive financial trajectory.  By bringing our premiums down, we’re helping folks lift themselves up so they can open new doors of opportunity and strengthen their financial futures.”

In the wake of the nation’s housing crisis, FHA increased its premium prices to stabilize the health of its MMI Fund.  In addition, the Obama Administration took dramatic steps to safeguard consumers in the mortgage market to ensure responsible borrowers continued to have access to mortgage capital as many private lending sources tightened their lending standards.

Today’s reduction will significantly expand access to mortgage credit for these families and is expected to lower the cost of housing for the approximately 800,000 households who use FHA annually.

FHA’s new annual premium prices are expected to take effect towards the end of the month. FHA will publish a mortgagee letter detailing its new pricing structure shortly.

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) today announced the second round of housing assistance to help 1,984 homeless veterans find permanent supportive housing.  The rental assistance announced today is provided through the HUD-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) Program which combines rental assistance from HUD with case management and clinical services provided by VA.  Last October, the two agencies awarded $62 million in HUD-VASH vouchers to assist more than 9,000 homeless veterans.

With HUD approaching its 50th anniversary next year, Secretary Julián Castro is focused on advancing policies that create opportunities for all Americans, including the broader Administration goal of ending homelessness among veterans.

“It is unacceptable that after their service and sacrifice, too many of our veterans find themselves living on our streets and in our shelters,” said SecretaryCastro.  “We’ve made significant progress reducing homelessness among veterans by a third in just four years, and these vouchers will continue to help communities build on these gains, providing targeted assistance to those in need to ensure that every veteran has a home.”

Welcoming the progress made with HUD and local partners under the leadership of President Obama, VA Secretary Robert McDonald added, “As long as there remains a single veteran living on our streets, there is more work to be done. HUD-VASH vouchers are a vital tool in our efforts to reduce veteran homelessness.”

“Through the HUD-VASH program, communities are making historic progress toward ending homelessness by connecting veterans who have the most intensive service needs to the foundation of a home with supportive services,” said Laura Green Zeilinger, Executive Director of the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness.  “The grant awards announced today add crucial resources to this effort, helping to deliver on the promise that every veteran who has served America has a home in America.”

HUD-VASH is an important part of the Obama Administration’s efforts to provide critical housing and services to veterans experiencing homelessness that also includes HUD’s Continuum of Care program as well as VA’s Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF).

Since 2008 more than 68,000 vouchers have been awarded and over 80,000 homeless veterans have been served through the HUD-VASH program.  Rental assistance and support services provided through HUD-VASH are a critical resource for local communities in ending homelessness among our nation’s Veterans.

Additionally, Opening Doors: Federal Strategic Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness serves as a roadmap for how the federal government will work with state and local communities to confront the root causes of homelessness, especially among former servicemen and women. As evidence of that commitment, President Obama has asked for an additional $75 million for HUD-VASH vouchers to serve veterans experiencing homelessness in his fiscal year 2015 budget request to Congress.

In the HUD-VASH program, VA Medical Centers (VAMCs) assess veterans experiencing homelessness before referring them to local housing agencies for these vouchers. Decisions are based on a variety of factors, most importantly the duration of homelessness and the need for longer term, more intensive support in obtaining and maintaining permanent housing.  The HUD-VASH program includes both the rental assistance the voucher provides and the comprehensive case management that VAMC staff offers.

Veterans participating in the HUD-VASH program rent privately owned housing and generally contribute no more than 30 percent of their income toward rent.  VA offers eligible homeless veterans clinical and supportive services through its medical centers across the U.S., Guam and Puerto Rico.

 

 

​​​The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) today directed Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to begin setting aside and allocating funds to the Housing Trust Fund and the Capital Magnet Fund pursuant to the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 (HERA).   HERA authorized FHFA to temporarily suspend these allocations, and FHFA informed Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac of a temporary suspension on November 13, 2008.  In letters sent today (links below), FHFA notified Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac of the agency’s decision to reverse the temporary suspension.

Separately, FHFA sent to the Federal Register an Interim Final Rule to address the statutory requirement that the allocations may not result in transferring their expense to originators or other Enterprise counterparties.  The Interim Final rule is effective upon publication and has a 30-day comment period.

WASHINGTON - The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the U.S. Department of the Treasury today announced enhancements to programs under Making Home Affordable (MHA) to better assist struggling homeowners and communities still recovering from the effects of the financial crisis. The enhancements are designed to motivate homeowners in MHA to continue making their mortgage payments on-time, strengthen the safety net for those facing continuing financial hardships, and help homeowners in MHA programs build equity in their homes, an important factor in stabilizing neighborhoods.

"Today's announcement signals our commitment to helping more hardworking families continue the American dream of homeownership," said Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julián Castro. "These enhancements will expand the opportunity for more folks to stay in their home, stabilizing local communities and continuing our nation's positive economic momentum."

"While the housing sector has strengthened in recent years, there are still many homeowners struggling to make their mortgage payments," said Secretary of the Treasury Jacob J. Lew. "The changes we are announcing today offer meaningful incentives for borrowers to stay current in their modifications, increase their opportunity to build equity in their homes, and provide vital safety nets for those facing greater financial strains."

Treasury and HUD established HAMP (Home Affordable Modification Program®) in 2009 to provide relief to homeowners facing financial hardship. Through a combination of lowered interest rates and modified loan terms, monthly payments are reduced to affordable levels. In addition, many homeowners who remain current following their modification are eligible to earn up to $5,000 over the first five years of their modification, which is applied in repayment of their outstanding principal balance.

Under the revised guidelines announced today, all homeowners in HAMP will now be eligible to earn $5,000 in the sixth year of their modification, which will reduce their outstanding principal balance by as much as $10,000. Homeowners will also be offered an opportunity to re-amortize the reduced mortgage balance, which will have the effect of lowering their monthly payment. As of today, approximately one million homeowners with HAMP modifications are eligible to earn the increased HAMP incentive.

In addition, in an effort to bolster the safety net for homeowners who face difficulty making their payments in HAMP Tier 1 or similar non-HAMP modifications, Treasury and HUD have introduced enhancements to HAMP Tier 2 and the Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives® (HAFA) Program.

HAMP Tier 2 is an alternative modification that provides a low fixed rate for the life of the loan to homeowners who do not qualify for or cannot sustain a HAMP Tier 1 modification. The enhancements announced today include reducing the interest rate for HAMP Tier 2 by 50 basis points, which will enable more homeowners to qualify for a modification, and extending the $5,000 pay-for-performance incentive to HAMP Tier 2 borrowers in good standing at the end of the sixth year of their modification.

HAFA assists homeowners who need to transition to a more affordable living situation through a short sale or deed-in-lieu. Treasury and HUD announced today that they have increased the amount of relocation assistance provided to homeowners to $10,000 to better reflect increased rents and the cost of moving in many parts of the country.

If you are a homeowner in need of mortgage assistance, please visit MakingHomeAffordable.gov to explore all options available to help you avoid foreclosure.

You can also contact Government Deal Funding to see if we can help.

AUSTIN, TX - U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Julián Castro announced funding available to help local communities across the country to redevelop severely distressed public and HUD-assisted housing and transform surrounding neighborhoods.  This funding would increase if there is an FY2015 appropriation from Congress.

Part of the Obama Administration's effort to build Ladders of Opportunity to the middle class, HUD is offering grants of up to $30 million through its Choice Neighborhoods Implementation Program to support locally driven solutions for transforming neighborhoods struggling to address poor quality housing, inadequate schools, poor health, high crime, and lack of capital.

Speaking at the annual convention of the National League of Cities (NLC) in Austin, Texas, Castro said the grants will help create jobs, increase economic activity, improve affordable housing, reduce violence and expand educational opportunities. Grantees and their partners use the funds as a catalyst - stimulating approximately $7.50 in public and private investment for every $1 in the Choice Neighborhoods funding.

"These Choice Neighborhood grants will empower local communities to leverage public and private investment and achieve greater collective impact," Castro said. "We look forward to working with community leaders to breathe new life into struggling neighborhoods-and to transform them into places where residents can flourish and dreams can thrive."

Choice Neighborhoods is HUD's signature place-based initiative and its vision builds on the work that has been done by the Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative, an interagency partnership between HUD, the Department of Education, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Justice, and Treasury, since 2009. Through a variety of interventions, the Ladders of Opportunity plan will help community partners rebuild neighborhoods, expand early learning opportunities, create pathways to jobs, and strengthen families. Choice Neighborhoods is focused on three core goals:

  • Housing: Replace distressed public and assisted housing with high-quality mixed-income housing that is well-managed and responsive to the needs of the surrounding neighborhood.
  • People: Improve educational outcomes and intergenerational mobility for youth with services and supports delivered directly to youth and their families.
  • Neighborhood: Create the conditions necessary for public and private reinvestment in distressed neighborhoods to offer the kinds of amenities and assets, including safety, good schools, and commercial activity, that are important to families' choices about their community.

HUD's commitment to teamwork means local residents and leaders are leading the way in revitalizing their communities. To accomplish these core goals, communities must have in place a comprehensive neighborhood revitalization strategy, or Transformation Plan. This Transformation Plan is the guiding document for the revitalization of the public and/or assisted housing units, while simultaneously directing the transformation of the surrounding neighborhood and positive outcomes for families.

Choice Neighborhoods Implementation grants are available for public housing authorities, local governments, nonprofit organizations, tribal entities, and for profit developers that apply jointly with a public entity to extend neighborhood transformation efforts beyond public and/or assisted housing. The program helps communities transform neighborhoods by revitalizing severely distressed public and/or HUD-assisted multifamily housing and investing and leveraging investments in well-functioning services, high quality public schools and education programs, high quality early learning programs and services, public assets, public transportation, and improved access to jobs.

Today, Choice Neighborhoods Implementation Grantees can be found in cities such as Boston, Columbus, and San Antonio. In Boston, a local community economic development corporation successfully converted a vacant, blighted 36,000 square-foot factory into a food production hub that is expected to bring 50 businesses and 150 jobs to the local neighborhood in its first five years of operation. In Columbus, the City, Housing Authority, and The Ohio State University are now implementing a community driven Transformation Plan with the support of Choice Neighborhoods funds in over $180 million in public and private sources. Finally, cities like San Antonio have leveraged Choice Neighborhoods efforts with federal funding to improve schools and public safety - an effort that has led to a Promise Zones designation.

 

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) today announced more than $62 million to help more than 9,000 homeless veterans find permanent supportive housing.  The rental assistance announced today is provided through the HUD-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) Program which combines rental assistance from HUD with case management and clinical services provided by VA.

HUD is awarding $57 million to support 8,276 Tenant-Based Vouchers for rental units in the private market, and $5 million for 730 Project-Based Vouchers (PBV) for existing units or new construction in specific developments.

With HUD approaching its 50th anniversary next year, Secretary Julián Castro is focused on advancing policies that create opportunities for all Americans, including the broader Administration goal of ending homelessness among veterans.  As First Lady Michelle Obama said in a Joining Forces speech in July 2014, “As Americans, the idea that anyone who has worn our country’s uniform spends their nights sleeping on the ground should horrify us.  And so it is truly our duty to right this wrong and put an end to veteran homelessness once and for all.”

HUD-VASH is an important part of the Obama Administration’s efforts to provide critical housing and services to veterans experiencing homelessness that also includes HUD’s Continuum of Care program as well as VA’s Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF).

“It is unacceptable that after their service and sacrifice, too many of our veterans find themselves living on our streets and in our shelters,” said Secretary Castro.  “We’ve made significant progress reducing homelessness among veterans by a third in just four years, and these vouchers will continue to help communities build on these gains, providing targeted assistance to those in need to ensure that every veteran has a home.”

Welcoming the progress made with HUD and local partners under the leadership of President Obama, VA Secretary Robert McDonald added, “As long as there remains a single veteran living on our streets, there is more work to be done. HUD-VASH vouchers are a vital tool in our efforts to reduce veteran homelessness.”

“Through the HUD-VASH program, communities are making historic progress toward ending homelessness by connecting veterans who have the most intensive service needs to the foundation of a home with supportive services,” said Laura Green Zeilinger, Executive Director of the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness.  “The grant awards announced today add crucial resources to this effort, helping to deliver on the promise that every Veteran who has served America has a home in America.”

Last month, HUD, VA and USICH released a new national estimate of veteran homelessness in the United States.  In January of 2013, thousands of cities and counties across the country reported 49,933 homeless veterans, a decline of 33 percent (or 24,837 people) since 2010.  This includes a nearly 40 percent drop in the number of unsheltered veterans sleeping on the street.

Since 2008, more than 59,000 vouchers have been awarded and over 74,000 homeless veterans have been served through the HUD-VASH program.  Rental assistance and support services provided through HUD-VASH are a critical resource for local communities in ending homelessness among our nation’s veterans.

Additionally, Opening Doors: Federal Strategic Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness serves as a roadmap for how the federal government will work with state and local communities to confront the root causes of homelessness, especially among former servicemen and women. As evidence of that commitment, President Obama has asked for an additional $75 million for HUD-VASH vouchers to serve veterans experiencing homelessness in his fiscal year 2015 budget request to Congress.

In the HUD-VASH program, VA Medical Centers (VAMCs) assess veterans experiencing homelessness before referring them to local housing agencies for these vouchers. Decisions are based on a variety of factors, most importantly the duration of homelessness and the need for longer term, more intensive support in obtaining and maintaining permanent housing.  The HUD-VASH program includes both the rental assistance the voucher provides and the comprehensive case management that VAMC staff offers.

Veterans participating in the HUD-VASH program rent privately owned housing and generally contribute no more than 30 percent of their income toward rent.  VA offers eligible homeless veterans clinical and supportive services through its medical centers across the U.S., Guam and Puerto Rico.