June 18, 2004
HUD SECRETARY ANNOUNCES HIGHER FHA HOME LOAN LIMITS TO HELP MORE LAS VEGAS FAMILIES BECOME HOMEOWNERS
LAS VEGAS - Housing and Urban Development Secretary Alphonso Jackson today announced that the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) has increased its single-family home mortgage loan limits by more than 18 percent.
Effective today, FHA will insure single-family home mortgages up to $224,500. The old limit was $189,800. The loan limits for two-, three- and four-unit dwellings also increased.
Last year, FHA insured home loans for over 21,000 families in Las Vegas. Under the old limits, in effect until this week, almost 9,000 families obtained FHA insured home loans through May. The new loan limits will allow more families to benefit from the FHA insured loan program.
Jackson made the announcement during a visit to the East Las Vegas Senior Center. The Secretary is visiting Nevada with Secretary of the Treasury John Snow to promote Homeownership Month and discuss the President's efforts to strengthen the economy and create jobs.
"President Bush pledged that we would have 5.5-million new homeowners by the end of the decade," said Jackson. "He will be happy to know that because of our actions today and the Expo tomorrow, that a number of those new homeowners will be here in Las Vegas."
The Rosie and Glenn Lewis Family used an FHA insured loan to buy their first home after renting in Las Vegas since 1965. "It's like a dream come true," said Rosie Lewis. "My mortgage now is less than what I would have been paying in rent for an apartment. They made it possible when I thought we could never become homeowners."
The Lewis Family will meet with Secretary Jackson at Saturday's Homeownership Expo at Cashman Center, when more than 100 exhibitors will provide information on homeownership options in Las Vegas.
The higher FHA loan limits will also apply to FHA's 203K acquisition and rehabilitation program which offers homebuyers an FHA-insured mortgage to finance both the costs of purchasing and repairing existing homes in older areas.
The elevated loan limits do not cost the government any money, because the FHA Insurance Fund is fully supported by premiums paid by borrowers who receive FHA insurance.
The increases will also benefit senior citizens who qualify for FHA-insured reverse mortgages. Reverse mortgages allow homeowners age 62 and older to borrow against the value of their homes without selling them. Homeowners can select a lump-sum payment, monthly payments or tap into a line of credit. No repayment is required as long as a homeowner lives in a home with a reverse mortgage. The reverse mortgage is repaid, with interest, when a homeowner sells the home or dies.
Jackson will continue his efforts to educate prospective homeowners Saturday at 12:45 when he joins Mayor Oscar B. Goodman at the Las Vegas Homeownership Expo in Cashman Center.
The Expo will be a one-stop, free, forum offering numerous giveaways and providing families the opportunity to learn about the benefits of homeownership. The event, which is expected to have nearly 100 vendors, will include credit counselors, home building products, non-profits, lenders, real estate professionals offering a real estate primer course in homeownership, information the various types of loans and mortgage products available.
HUD is the nation's housing agency committed to increasing homeownership, particularly among minorities; creating affordable housing opportunities for low-income Americans; and supporting the homeless, elderly, people with disabilities and people living with AIDS. The Department also promotes economic and community development as well as enforces the nation's fair housing laws. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet and espanol.hud.gov.