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Posts Tagged ‘housing commissioner’

Housing Expert: Modify the Mortgage Interest Deduction

April 30th, 2013 Comments off

In an interview in Forbes, Nicolas P. Retsinas, former Federal Housing Commissioner and Director Emeritus of Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies, says the housing recovery is being spurred by new household formation, which in turn has been sparked by the improving job market, and abnormally low interest rates. He says while the administration is trying to accelerate the housing recovery, the government-sponsored enterprises (Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac) which insure, securitize, and guarantee 95 percent of all mortgage loans, are narrowing the credit tunnel because they do not want to lose money and be on the front page asking for a bail-out. Noting we over-encouraged homeownership, which in part led to the housing downturn, he says the mortgage interest deduction (MID) has become a sacred cow, but perhaps it is time to allow first-time homebuyers and those below a certain income only to use it, as it deprives the government of $100 billion annually. MHProNews has learned in a book Retsinas wrote, he says nearly all cultures have in their psyche the notion of homeownership, including two-thirds of American families. He says when the current demand for rentals subsides, the equilibrium will shift and homeownership will likely rise.

(Image credit: texaslendingtoday)

NYC Housing Shortage Likely to Worsen

November 13th, 2012 Comments off

Reporting from New York City, observer says the return to normalcy in parts of the battered city, from the homes that burned to those that washed away, will be many months. Owners of one expensive high rise in lower Manhattan do not know when their units will be habitable, and are releasing tenants from their leases. The vacancy rate is one percent in the city, a little higher in the boroughs. In addition to the 40,000 homeless, there are thousands currently displaced by Hurricane Sandy, including many with limited means in the outlying areas. In addition, those still in their homes sitting in the dark with no heat as the weather gets colder will soon be looking for warmer quarters. “There’s a huge fear that folks are going to be displaced for the medium and long term,” city housing commissioner Mathew M. Wambua told The New York Times. Modular FEMA units will likely supplement apartments, MHProNews has learned, and officials want building owners to help create a clearinghouse of available units. If they accept FEMA vouchers, owners want to be indemnified by the government for damages and legal costs of evicting tenants.

(Photo credit: Country Living–modular in the city)

MHARR to HUD: Respond to Affordable Housing Need, not Regulators

July 25th, 2012 Comments off

The Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR), in its continuing attempts for the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to fully and properly implement the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000 which especially impacts the industry’s smaller businesses, sent a letter July 19, 2012 to HUD Assistant Secretary for Housing-Federal Housing Commissioner Carol Galante suggesting: The Secretary reject the pending “conditional” federal sprinkler standard; subject expanded in-plant regulation to Manufactured Housing Consensus Committee (MHCC) review and rule making; HUD should reduce funding for the program monitoring contract and allocate resources to the State Administrative Agencies (SAAs); and HUD should finalize action on an “On Site Completion” rule. MHProNews notes, as MHARR has asked repeatedly, that HUD make manufactured housing a priority in response to the need for affordable housing in these United States. For the complete letter, click here.

(Image credit: MHARR)

HUD Suspends MHCC Activities

May 17th, 2012 Comments off

Following HUD’s suspension of the Manufactured Housing Consensus Committee (MHCC) Administering Organization (AO) services by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) because of HUD’s failure to pay the NFPA, the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) sent a letter to Carol Galante, HUD Assistant Secretary-Federal Housing Commissioner. In reminding Ms. Galante of their meeting last fall in which the importance of the MHCC as part of the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000 was stressed for proper operation of the MH program, MHARR President Danny Ghorbani reiterates HUD’s disregarding the role of the MHCC as intended by Congress. He says, “…the indefinite suspension of all MHCC activities threatens to return the program to the type of closed door, unaccountable and non-transparent regulatory practices that Congress sought to end through the reforms of the 2000 law.”

(Image credit: Wikipedia Commons)

HUD Yields on Enforcing New Standard

May 11th, 2012 Comments off

A May 7 email from the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) recounts a letter sent April 26, 2012 from the Housing and Urban Development (HUD) concerning an increase in design values for Southern Yellow Pine to take effect June 1, 2012. MHARR’s response to HUD says HUD needs to abide by the manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000 and give the Manufactured Housing Consensus Committee (MHCC) the opportunity to review the change. Also, MHARR notes it is unrealistic to expect manufacturers to institute a design change within 30 days and be prepared for enforcement action and possible penalties for not complying by June 1, 2012. Today, May 11, 2012, MHARR says Acting Deputy Federal Housing Commissioner Ronald Y. Spraker verbally told MHARR the change will not take effect until Jan. 2013. MHARR notes HUD did not address the need for review of the proposal by MHCC.

(Image credit: MHARR)