Office of Inspector General to Expand Reverse Mortgage Oversight

The Trump Administration plans for its Office of Inspector General to increase oversight of the Home Equity Conversion Mortgage program in 2020, according to a proposed budget released Monday.

The Administration’s HUD budget proposal for the 2020 fiscal year includes a statement on this expanded oversight that the OIG will have, in addition to addressing management challenges by updating the department’s information technology and providing resources to support congressionally mandated department audits.

“The OIG will expand oversight of the HECM program, ensuring the program does not pose undue risk to the Mutual Mortgage Insurance (MMI) Fund,” the department’s “Budget in Brief” document states.

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In the press release announcing the HUD budget proposal, the department noted that it was “seeking up to $400 billion in new single-family loan guarantee authority,” which is a total equal to the amount of appropriations sought to support all single family programs in fiscal year 2019’s budget proposal last year.

Other priorities that HUD has laid out for the new fiscal year includes appropriating $2.6 billion for housing assistance programs to combat homelessness, seeking a combined $290 million for HUD’s Office of Lead Hazard Control and Healthy Homes, seeking $22.2 billion for HUD’s Housing Choice Voucher Program and $12 billion to renew rental subsidies.

HUD has also prioritized the pursuit of rent reform and limiting the regulatory structure of the Public Housing program, which the department describes as “cumbersome” in its press release.

Last year, the White House proposed a permanent end to the cap on the number of reverse mortgages, and a cut to the appropriations for housing counseling programs.

The submission of the White House’s budget proposal is a requirement of the federal government’s budgetary process, and often represents only a starting point in the Administration’s fiscal negotiations with Congress. It is typically not enacted as originally written.

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