NAHB Officers Hold Productive Talks with HUD Secretary Carson
In a broad agenda focusing on regulatory reform and housing affordability, NAHB senior officers today held productive talks with HUD Secretary Ben Carson. Topics covered included:
The Federal Flood Risk Management Standard. NAHB believes that HUD’s proposed rule to expand its floodplain management oversight should be withdrawn because it fundamentally threatens access to FHA mortgage insurance programs for single-family home buyers and multifamily builders.
Small Area Fair Market Rents. HUD has instituted a rule to make Small Area Fair Market Rents based on ZIP codes rather than an entire metropolitan area. Among other things, NAHB urged HUD to rescind most of the rule and reinstate the Fair Market Rent regulations in effect prior to the new rule.
Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing. This HUD rule requires, states, local governments and public housing agencies to conduct a formal fair housing planning process as a condition of receiving certain HUD funds. NAHB urged HUD to revise the rule to address concerns about its potential for inappropriate federal encroachment on local land use decisions and legitimate business practices, such as a landlord’s refusal to accept rental subsidies.
HUD Section 3 program. Under Section 3, builders who receive federal HUD funds must offer job training and opportunities to low-income residents in their neighborhoods. Although well-intended, Section 8 has had unintended consequences for some builders, including increased costs, administrative burdens and project delays. We offered to facilitate discussions with builders with Section 3 experience and suggested that HUD partner with HBI, NAHB’s workforce development arm, in developing job training resources.
Davis-Bacon. Home builders are subject to costly and administratively complex Davis-Bacon wage requirements when they use HUD funding or FHA multifamily mortgage insurance to construct affordable rental housing. NAHB urged HUD to reaffirm existing guidance which calls for application of a single “residential” Davis-Bacon wage determination for low-rise multifamily properties. We also asked Secretary Carson to help us weigh in with the Department of Labor to advocate further Davis-Bacon reforms.
Mortgage insurance premiums. Shortly after the inauguration, President Trump reversed an action by the Obama administration to lower the fee for FHA mortgage insurance by one-quarter of one percent. NAHB believes the FHA insurance fund can readily sustain the modest 25 basis point mortgage insurance premium reduction and urged HUD to reinstate the rate cut to help more qualified first-time home buyers to afford home loans.
Those attending the meeting with the HUD secretary included NAHB Chairman Granger MacDonald, First Vice Chairman Randy Noel, Second Vice Chairman Greg Ugalde, Third Vice Chairman Dean Mon, Immediate Past Chairman Ed Brady, Government Affairs Committee Chairman Justin MacDonald and Housing Finance Committee Chairman Greg Peek.
This article is from NAHB’s NAHB Now blog.