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Julia Gordon discusses affordable housing at NAR Legislative Meeting

The FHA commissioner asks agents to help educate sellers about FHA mortgages

Federal Housing Administration (FHA) commissioner Julia Gordon discussed regulator policy concerns in the real estate industry with agents attending the National Association of Realtors(NAR) Legislative Meeting Monday afternoon in Washington, D.C. 

During her keynote address, Gordon discussed the FHA’s latest actions, including the 30-basis point reduction to annual mortgage insurance premiums charged to buyers who use an FHA-insured mortgage, the 203(k) program and accessory dwelling units.

“The issues that Realtors are discussing are what we spend our time on at FHA, too; we think a lot about the realities of today’s market,” Gordon told attendees.. “Serious inventory shortages, a radically altered interest rate environment, liquidity challenges that affect the entire housing ecosystem. Everything I’ve just mentioned constrains the ability of all households to buy a home. But no one is more affected by these difficulties than the low- and moderate-income families that the FHA serves.”

According to Gordon, more than 82% of FHA borrowers so far this year are first-time homebuyers, prompting her to highlight the annual mortgage insurance premium reduction, the first of its kind in eight years. 

“Every American who buys a home should have the same opportunities to build generational wealth,” Gordon said.

Looking ahead, Gordon told conference attendees that the FHA will continue to work to expand the nation’s affordable housing supply. 

“We’re going to continue to work with NAR and with all of you to enhance the opportunity to partner with FHA,” Gordon said. “That includes factors in the president’s budget proposal – $10 billion for first-generation down payment assistance and funding to increase availability for FHA mortgages for lower-priced homes.”

Gordon noted, however, that the FHA does not have as large of an influence on single-family building as it does on multi-family, but she was optimistic about other measures the agency can take. 

“We do expect foreclosures to tip up somewhat following the pandemic because there was a moratorium for so long,” Gordon said. “And it’s important that when that home goes up for sale or foreclosure, we decide to sell it to a new owner occupant and not to some investor that’s just going to turn it into a rental.”

She finished the discussion by asking agents to educate their buyers and sellers about FHA loans. 

“The thing I need your help with most is dispelling myths about FHA mortgages and making sure FHA mortgages are not discriminated against by sellers,” Gordon said.

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