President Barack Obama announced in his first speech on housing in 2015 that the Federal Housing Administration is reducing the cost of mortgage insurance for FHA borrowers by 0.5 percentage points from 1.35 percent to 0.85 percent. The move is projected to help an additional 250,000 new home buyers. A coalition of 46 organizations, including NLIHC, signed a letter to HUD Secretary Julían Castro urging him to make the reduction.
The speech was delivered on January 7 in Phoenix, AZ. It was one of three speeches on economic issues that the President is making a prelude to his annual State of the Union address before Congress. This year’s State of the Union event will take place on Tuesday, January 20 at 9pm EST.
In advance of the speech, the White House issued a press release listing the housing accomplishments of the Obama Administration. One section was labeled “ Strengthen access to affordable rental housing” and referenced support for the recent decision by FHFA Director Mel Watt to begin funding for the National Housing Trust Fund and the Capital Magnet Fund. Unfortunately, the President did not mention rental housing in his speech.
To see the White House press release, go to http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2015/01/07/fact-sheet-making-homeownership-more-accessible-and-sustainable.
To see the FHA sign on letter, go to https://cdn.americanprogress.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/FHA-Premiums-Coalition-Letter-2015.01.07.pdf