Skip to main content

HUD, White House Announce New Initiatives Designed To Boost Housing Supply

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) on Thursday unveiled a series of new policies that are designed to boost housing supply and affordability across the country, according to HUD and White House officials.

Stemming from a housing supply action plan unveiled by the White House in 2022 and a subsequent “Renter’s Bill of Rights” introduced last year, HUD and the U.S. Department of the Treasury are extending indefinitely the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) and Federal Financing Bank (FFB) risk-sharing program.

The new policies are designed to provide “an ongoing source of capital so that state and local housing finance agencies (HFAs) can continue to offer FHA insured multifamily loans at reduced interest rates to create and preserve high-quality, affordable rental homes,” according to the White House.

Indefinite extension

The risk-sharing program lapsed under the Trump administration but was restarted in 2021 by the Biden administration. It has resulted in “12,000 affordable housing units [that] have been created or preserved, supported by almost $2 billion in FHA-insured loans made through the program,” the White House said.

The new extension is estimated to create 38,000 additional units over 10 years, according to administration officials.

“Simply put, the supply of housing has not kept pace with increasing demand, making housing too expensive for far too many people,” HUD deputy secretary Adrianne Todman said in a news release.

“HUD is using every single tool we have to ensure the families we serve can access affordable homes. Today’s announcement means that, together with our partners at the Department of the Treasury, HUD will be able to continue providing the capital needed to build and preserve tens of thousands of rental units for the families who need our help.”

HUD is also expected to publish a proposed rule to “streamline and modernize the regulations for the HOME Investment Partnerships Program (HOME program),” an annual block grant designed to address housing supply. HUD has allocated $4.35 billion in funding to build or renovate rental homes since 2021, assisting 45,000 households in that time, according to the White House.

“HUD is proposing improvements that would make HOME easier to use for individuals and families looking for a home to rent or buy, as well as for homeowners making upgrades to their homes such as accessibility improvements, new roofs, and replacement of outdated utilities with energy efficient ones,” the White House explained.

“HUD’s proposals would also streamline requirements for grantees administering funding, community development organizations building new homes, and property owners renting to HUD-funded households.”

The anticipated rule would also update requirements relating to property standards, small-scale rental projects, community land trusts and tenant protections.

Manufactured housing provisions

Manufactured housing is also on the list of topics addressed by HUD and the White House, including the opening of an application for so-called Preservation and Reinvestment Initiative for Community Enhancement (PRICE) grants.

These are designed to “support the preservation and revitalization of manufactured housing communities,” and can be used for “the replacement of dilapidated homes, assistance for homeowners such as repairs and accessibility modifications, mitigation and resilience upgrades, improvement of infrastructure such as stormwater systems or utilities, housing services including eviction prevention, and planning activities,” according to the release.

The total funding opportunity for the PRICE grants is $225 million, according to the White House.

FHA is also pushing back against investor purchases of manufactured homes and their communities, which have driven up costs for residents supported by such housing that disproportionately feature elderly or disabled people.

“Manufactured housing offers a proven solution to America’s affordable housing supply crisis,” HUD Secretary Marcia Fudge said. “Today’s actions bring us one step closer to a future where everyone has access to housing that meets their needs.”

Draft guidance and loan limits

FHA is in the process of finalizing and publishing a draft mortgagee letter that would create a new program to preserve affordability for existing residents of manufactured housing communities.

“Under the new program, resident cooperatives and other mission-oriented borrowers will be permitted to use FHA 223(f) multifamily loans to acquire or refinance communities,” the White House announced.

This is designed to complement the PRICE grant program, since “a PRICE recipient could use this program to purchase the community from its current owner, preserving its long-term affordability and use PRICE funds for critical infrastructure improvements and home repairs,” the release stated. Eligibility, however, is not limited to PRICE recipients.

HUD is also raising the loan limits for Title I manufactured housing, which have been published in the Federal Register.

“Doing so will allow FHA to better serve low- and moderate-income and first-time buyers of manufactured housing whose financing needs have not been well-served by the private market,” the White House explained.

No Comments yet!