What Happened to HAWK!

When the Federal Housing Administration announced its “Blueprint for Access” in May, it said the program was designed to open up the credit box for “underserved borrowers.” Now, one of the most ballyhooed features of the FHA’s plan to help ease credit availability is not going to happen, thanks to budgetary wrangling in Congress. One of the main features of the FHA’s Blueprint for Access was a pilot program called Homeowners Armed with Knowledge, or HAWK for short. Under the four-year HAWK pilot program, homebuyers who committed to housing counseling would qualify for tangible savings on their FHA-insured loans. But funding for the HAWK program was not included in the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2015, which was signed by President Obama this week, therefore the program will not be moving forward for at least a year. Under the program, the average buyer would have saved approximately $325 a year, or almost $9,800 over the life of their loan. “Over the last few years FHA has proposed a number of steps to better serve borrowers and lenders in an ongoing effort to expand credit access and ultimately continue moving the economy in a positive direction,” said Biniam Gebre, acting FHA commissioner and assistant secretary for housing. “We are disappointed programs that could have served many families will not be permitted under the bill.”

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HUD Training and Information Updates

New Presentation Added to the HUD Office of Housing Counseling (OHC) Webinar Archives: Visit the OHC Webinar Archive to view all the past training presentations.

  • Original air date: November 18, 2014 – HECM Counseling Protocol “We can make it better”. The purpose of this stakeholder meeting was to seek Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM), counseling agency stakeholder ideas and feedback on how to make the current HECM protocol more efficient and effective. Replay number: (800) 475-6701, Access Code: 337608. View the presentation.

New Training Updates for Housing Counselors: 

  1. HUD Training for Housing Counselors: Visit the HUD Office of Housing Counseling (OHC) Training Calendar on-line. Visit the OHC Webinar Archive to view archival copies of past training events. Visit FHA’s Webinar Archive to view training on insured mortgage programs like HECM, 203K, non-profit programs, disaster recovery and much more. 
  • HUD Exchange: HUD has launched an online curriculum, including video, dynamic presentations and self-paced training modules, designed to help HUD partners understand Federal financial requirements. The HUD Exchange Training and Events website also has many other courses and training opportunities of interest to non-profit and local government agencies. Visit HUD Exchange to learn more and register for training opportunities.
  •  December 02, 2014 – HECM Protocol Stakeholder Meetings: Sponsored by HUD’s Office of Housing Counseling. The purpose of this stakeholder meeting is to seek HECM counseling agency stakeholder ideas and feedback on how to make the current HECM protocol more efficient and effective.  Attendance is very limited for both of this meeting, Register today. This session is for local agencies. Register on-line.
  1. IRS Educational Training for Exempt Organizations: The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) offers training for non-profit organizations. Visit their website to view the IRS training calendar.  The IRS provides training for tax-exempt organizations and charitable organizations seeking tax-exempt status at: www.StayExempt.irs.gov. The site includes information for new applicants; information to help existing exempt organizations maintain their exemption; and more in-depth topics. Also View the IRS webinar course catalog for workshops you can take on-line. Training dates include:
  • December 09, 2014 – Austin, TX
  • January 9, 2014 – Salt Lake City, UT
  • May 12, 2015 – St. Louis, MO
  • May 14, 2015 – Springfield, MO

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HUD “The Bridge” Newsletter

Read the New Edition of “The Bridge” Newsletter:

“The Bridge” is HUD’s Office of Housing Counseling Newsletter for Housing Counselors. You can read the new edition of “The Bridge” on-line.

The Bridge Newsletter and LISTSERV Subscription Drive: The HUD Office of Housing Counseling frequently publishes “The Bridge” Newsletter and this LISTSERV.  The Bridge Newsletter focuses on Housing Counselors and highlights their hard work and the innovative best practices that contribute to improving the lives of American Families. The LISTSERV provides news and information for housing counselors on industry announcements, new policy notices, grant opportunities and guidance, employment opportunities, contracting opportunities, events, meetings, webinars and live training.  We want to make sure housing counselors do not miss out on the latest information. If you would like to sign up your staff or a new counselor at your agency, or recommend a housing counseling industry colleague to receive the Bridge Newsletter and LISTSERV, please visit our subscription website to sign up today. This service is free of charge.

Read the New Edition of “The Bridge” Newsletter

The New Edition of “The Bridge” Newsletter: “The Bridge” is HUD’s Office of Housing Counseling Newsletter for Housing Counselors. You can read the new edition of “The Bridge” on-line.

The Bridge Newsletter and LISTSERV Subscription Drive::The HUD Office of Housing Counseling frequently publishes “The Bridge” Newsletter and this LISTSERV.  The Bridge Newsletter focuses on Housing Counselors and highlights their hard work and the innovative best practices that contribute to improving the lives of American Families. The LISTSERV provides news and information for housing counselors on industry announcements, new policy notices, grant opportunities and guidance, employment opportunities, contracting opportunities, events, meetings, webinars and live training.  We want to make sure housing counselors do not miss out on the latest information. If you would like to sign up your staff or a new counselor at your agency, or recommend a housing counseling industry colleague to receive the Bridge Newsletter and LISTSERV, please visit our subscription website to sign up today. This service is free of charge.

Also see our LISTSERV archive of past messages. And the archive of past issues of The Bridge Newsletter

The Bridge – HUD Housing Counseling Newsletter

Read the July 2014 Edition of “The Bridge” Newsletter:“The Bridge” is HUD’s Office of Housing Counseling Newsletter for Housing Counselors. You can read the new July 2014 edition of “The Bridge” on-line.

The Bridge Newsletter and LISTSERV Subscription Drive: The Office of Housing Counseling frequently publishes The Bridge Newsletter and this LISTSERV.  The Bridge Newsletter focuses on Housing Counselors and highlights their hard work and the innovative best practices that contribute to improving the lives of American Families. The LISTSERV provides news and information for housing counselors on industry announcements, new policy notices, grant opportunities and guidance, employment opportunities, contracting opportunities, events, meetings, webinars and live training.  We want to make sure housing counselors do not miss out on the latest information. If you would like to sign up your staff or a new counselor at your agency, or recommend a housing counseling industry colleague to receive the Bridge Newsletter and LISTSERV, please visit our subscription website to sign up today. This service is free of charge.

 

And the archive of past issues of The Bridge Newsletter

Borrowers Ignoring HARP?

Eligible borrowers are ignoring HARP, officials say
More than 650,000 mortgage borrowers in the U.S. could be eligible for lower payments under the Home Affordable Refinance Program, but many have dismissed the program as a scam, says Federal Housing Finance Agency Director Mel Watt. He is urging borrowers to use the program, which expires at the end of next year, before interest rates rise. WSJ reports on efforts to boost HARP

Understanding the Impact of Location on Affordability

The Location Affordability Portal

http://locationaffordability.info/

There is more to housing affordability than how much rent or mortgage you pay. Transportation costs are the second-biggest budget item for most families, but to date there hasn’t been an easy way for people to fully factor transportation costs into decisions about where to live and work. The goal of the Location Affordability Portal is to provide the public with reliable, user-friendly data and resources on combined housing and transportation costs to help consumers, policymakers, and developers make more informed decisions about where to live, work, and invest.  The Portal features two new cutting-edge tools — the Location Affordability Index and My Transportation Cost Calculator—that illustrate from different perspectives how housing and transportation costs impact affordability. In addition to these decision-support tools, the Portal provides access to supporting resources that offer a wide range of information on current research and practice aimed at understanding, and ultimately reducing, the combined housing and transportation cost burden borne by American families.  HUD and DOT are committed to engaging with the public to continually improve and expand this resource. Please email locationaffordability@hud.gov with any questions or comments.

“The costs of transportation now approach or exceed those of housing for many working families, yet federal definitions of housing affordability fail to recognize their interdependence… This index will serve to make transparent the costs of living in a given location, and inform consumers and businesses about their choices in real-time, so they can make intelligent decisions about how to combine transportation and housing choices to lower their cost burdens.”

-Shaun Donovan, HUD Secretary

http://locationaffordability.info/