Despite progress made in the fight against housing discrimination and segregation, many people still face illegally constrained housing choices and are relegated to high-poverty neighborhoods, negatively affecting health, education, and other life outcomes. Read More

 

The Federal Housing Administration: 80 Years Young and Going Strong

The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) turns 80 years old in July. This federal agency, which currently resides within the Department of Housing and Urban Development, was founded in 1934 as part of President Roosevelt’s New Deal to combat the Great Depression. I should say that FHA is 80 years young, as the work and focus of FHA may have changed over eight decades, but FHA’s core mission remains as vital to the nation today as it was at its founding. Among its many achievements, FHA modernized the American mortgage system, improved the quality of the nation’s housing stock, prevented millions of Americans from losing their homes, allowed millions more to purchase their first home, and financed the construction of millions of modestly priced rental units. Although FHA has encountered some bumps in the road over the years in its operations, it has always managed to right itself, and has by and large accomplished its mission while remaining self-supporting using revenues generated by its mortgage insurance programs rather than taxpayer funds. I would extend former PD&R Assistant Secretary Michael Stegman’s 1996 sentiment that FHA [in 2014] remains “truly one of the Federal Government's greatest success stories.”

In 1934, with new mortgage credit frozen, residential construction stalled, and construction employment in a serious nationwide decline, Congress created FHA’s mortgage insurance programs to get the building trades and private credit back to work.

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Research
Characteristics of Choice Neighborhoods Planning Grant Applicants

The Choice Neighborhoods initiative (Choice) awards planning and implementation grants to public and private organizations to revitalize high-poverty neighborhoods containing severely distressed subsidized housing.

In Practice
Bringing Solar Energy to Underserved Communities in Massachusetts

Over the past several years, solar power has grown sharply in popularity among U.S. consumers, who are turning to renewable energy to stabilize their utility costs. Data from the United States Energy Information Administration show that the nation’s solar generating capacity increased by more than 400 percent between 2010 and 2014.

HUD Partner Reports
Evaluating the First Year of U.S.-Germany City Exchange Program for HUD Grantees

The German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF) recently released a Report looking at the first year of the Dialogues for Change (D4C) initiative, an innovative, international peer-to-peer exchange network that engages city leaders in substantive and meaningful dialogue to find common solutions to shared community development challenges...

Policy Update
Fair Housing Enforcement Organizations Use Testing To Expose Discrimination

As overt housing discrimination fades but subtle forms persist, proving violations of fair housing law has become more difficult. Many victims of discrimination encounter deceptive barriers that can be hard to detect, such as false information, neighborhood steering, and the application of different standards.

Statistical Reports
Housing Scorecard for June 2014
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The latest data show progress among key indicators, including a rebound in the sales of new and existing homes after a harsh-weather-induced lull during the previous two quarters. Purchases of new homes surged by 18.6 percent in May--the biggest monthly gain in 22 years (since January 1992)--and rose to their highest level since May 2008.

 

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