The Mortgage Bankers Association urged U.S. House representatives this week to approve the Department of Housing and Urban Development budget, which passed last week through the House Appropriations Committee.
Calling for funding of Ginnie Mae and the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), the MBA wrote a letter to members of Congress stressing the need to approve and boost specific provisions including housing counseling.
“Given FHA and Ginnie Mae’s key roles in providing a backstop to the housing finance market during these troubling economic times, this funding is critical to providing these entities the resources they need to effectively handle their increased loan volume in the single-family and multifamily mortgage markets,” wrote MBA Senior Vice President of Legislative and Political Affairs Bill Killmer.
The overall proposed budget, at $51.6 billion for HUD and the Department of Transportation is $3.9 billion below its allocation last year and is $1.9 billion below the Obama Administration’s budget request. Certain programs need additional funding, MBA wrote, including an increase in housing and homeownership counseling funding of $10 million to meet the administration’s request for at least $55 million overall.
“These funds are critical to assisting homeowners facing foreclosure, helping first-time homebuyers navigate the challenges of the purchase process and counseling for reverse mortgages (a program requirement) for seniors, a traditionally high-risk group for financial fraud,” the letter states.
Last year, housing counseling funds were zeroed out, leaving counseling agencies unfunded during an interim period of time.
View the letter.
Written by Elizabeth Ecker