HUD No. 07-096
June 27, 2007
HUD CELEBRATES 73RD ANNIVERSARY OF FHA
Deputy Secretary Bernardi and FHA Commissioner Montgomery discuss the benefits of FHA Modernization and Counseling
WASHINGTON - The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) celebrated the 73rd anniversary of its Federal Housing Administration (FHA) today at HUD Headquarters. HUD Deputy Secretary Roy Bernardi joined Assistant Secretary for Housing-FHA Commissioner Brian Montgomery to discuss FHA Modernization, the importance of providing housing counseling programs to prospective homebuyers, and the need for Congress to pass legislation to let FHA make the American Dream a reality for more families.
"FHA has given millions of families the opportunity to pursue the dream of homeownership," said Deputy Secretary Bernardi. "Our goal is to continue our education and outreach efforts while also retooling and refining FHA to insure safer mortgages that will keep the dream alive for the next generation of homebuyers.
"This is an historic occasion," said FHA Commissioner Brian D. Montgomery. "In the 73 years since its creation, FHA has been able to help over 34 million families achieve the dream of homeownership. It is fitting that FHA's birthday takes place in the month we set aside every year to promote homeownership in this country."
Since its inception in 1934, FHA has helped more than 34 million people become homeowners, making it the largest insurer of mortgages in the world. The 109th Congress introduced the Expanding American Homeownership Act in June 2006. This legislation would enable FHA to be an option for more underserved low- and moderate-income families so they can achieve the American Dream of homeownership. Once enacted, the reform legislation would create a new risk-based insurance premium structure, eliminate the current three percent minimum downpayment, and increase FHA's loan limits.
"FHA, despite all its success, does need to adapt to today's marketplace," said Montgomery. "We strongly support legislation that would modernize FHA and enable it to offer many Americans a variety of homeownership options that are safe and fairly priced."
Vendors and numerous representatives from the housing industry participated in the event. Games, music, and food were available for visitors, as well as opportunities to tour the Healthy Homes pavilion.
"Although June is National Homeownership Month, people can learn about the homebuying process throughout the year by contacting a HUD approved housing counseling agency," explained Bernardi.
There are 2,300 HUD-approved housing counseling programs around the country that help potential and current homeowners learn about safe loans products available through the FHA's mortgage insurance programs and other responsible lenders. FHA's mortgage loans have helped nearly 50,000 people stay in their home and avoid foreclosure this year.
To learn more about FHA Modernization and homebuying opportunities visit www.fha.gov or call 1 (800) 225-5342.
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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, and enforces the nation's fair housing laws. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet and espanol.hud.gov.