HUD Announces National Homeownership Month
“Each June, we mark National Homeownership Month, a time for HUD and FHA to renew our commitment to supporting individuals and families in achieving and sustaining homeownership,” says HUD Secretary Marcia L. Fudge, who was quoted in a HUD press release about the observance.
The HUD Secretary adds, “Homeownership is a key source of wealth building and is often the foundation for one’s life. Unfortunately, the lack of affordable housing supply has placed homeownership out of reach for many people” including low and moderate-income earners, first-time homebuyers, and those who have been historically marginalized in the housing process.
Federal Housing Commissioner Julia Gordon was also quoted in the HUD statement that the FHA and HUD are crucial parts of the American housing industry. Commissioner Gordon says the two agencies, “...remain committed to enhancing and improving our programs to promote expanded access and equity in homeownership, particularly for underserved communities.”
The FHA and HUD have multiple programs to ensure fair housing; recent initiatives announced in 2021 to address some of the issues are meant to better serve communities of color, first-time home buyers, and low-to-moderate income borrowers.
A foreclosure avoidance program for those affected by the COVID-19 pandemic was introduced as a further measure against certain types of housing discrimination.
In April 2022, the FHA added a 40-year mortgage modification option to help in this respect. The results of these programs include a reported decrease in delinquency on FHA mortgages between November 2020 numbers and those reported through April 2022.
A lot of this might sound familiar since HUD observed Fair Housing Month in April. June is not an extension of that observation but National Homeownership Month still requires the same vigilance against allowing non-financial factors such as national origin, race, religion, or family status to influence decisions to approve or deny housing.
Both Fair Housing Month and National Homeownership Month have an interest in addressing such unequal access in the housing market. Both exist to help federal agencies, housing providers, and others in the housing industry to better understand their rights and responsibilities under the Fair Housing Act and to promote homeownership in general.
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