As Congress continues to examine effective ways to reform the Federal Housing Administration, a number of professional groups, including the National Association of Realtors and the National Association of Home Builders have expressed their ongoing support for the mortgage-insurance fund.
NAR reported that during a recent testimonial before the U.S. House Financial Services Subcommittee on Insurance, Housing and Community Opportunity, organization president Gary Thomas applauded the FHA's recent actions toward improvement and offered his vote of confidence that efforts will be requited.
"Recent increases to premiums, increased down payments for some borrowers and greater risk management controls will help to substantially improve the FHA's financial condition," said Thomas. "These changes combined with an improving national economy and rising home prices will surely help stabilize the fund so that FHA can continue to serve the needs of hardworking American families who wish to purchase a home."
Among the recent developments reportedly implemented by the FHA, was the hiring of the agency's first credit risk officer and the introduction of credit score floors. Both actions look to increase the financial safety and soundness of both the fund and Americans.
Thomas credited the agency with the sustaining of home values and consumers' abilities to purchase property, explaining the housing market may not be so well-positioned for recovery without the assistance of the FHA through times of economic downturn. He also urged Congress to consider a number of bills which would give the agency the capability to continue serving home buyers at a high level.
NAHB applauds Congressional examination
While the government looks to finalize reforms of the FHA, tight mortgage lending standards threaten to slow the bolstering economic recovery observed in recent months. Because of this, NAHB first vice chairman Kevin Kelly recommended officials quickly, but carefully, reach a decision so the nation's housing finance system is not too drastically affected.
"While there is no doubt that the housing finance system needs to be reformed, the contributions that the FHA made during the economic downturn underscore the need for a government backstop for both the primary and secondary mortgage markets," Kelly said. "In times of crisis, private sources of mortgage credit have been unable or unwilling to meet housing capital needs."
Kelly reportedly warned lawmakers that America's mortgage markets could come to an abrupt stop in times of financial uncertainty without government support of home purchasing and refinancing. As public property records have recently shown substantial improvement, continuing the widespread growth could be as important as ever.