REALTORS® Discuss FHA's Future at White House Event

July 21, 2014

National Association of REALTORS® President Steve Brown served on a panel discussing the future of the Federal Housing Administration on the occasion of the agency's 80th anniversary at the White House on Friday, July 18.

Brown, co-owner of Irongate, Inc. REALTORS® in Dayton, Ohio, spoke of how the FHA impacts his local market, and how the agency helped the entire country emerge from the recent recession.

“During the depths of the Great Recession, at least half of my clients relied on FHA-backed loans because of extremely tight credit conditions,” said Brown. “Even today, FHA-backed loans are 30 percent of my book. FHA continues to make a real difference in people’s lives. Without this program, many creditworthy individuals wouldn’t be able to enter the market.”

He noted that the recent crisis demonstrated the true importance of the FHA, underlining the need to maintain its important role in today’s marketplace. Brown also underscored NAR’s call to FHA to decrease burdensome fees and eliminate the requirement that mortgage insurance be held for the life of the loan. Brown also suggested additional policy changes that would ensure credit-worthy, low-down payment borrowers have access to homeownership, including easing the condo certification process and providing FHA with the flexibility to change program requirements when necessary to protect the fund.

Barry Zigas, director of Housing Policy for the Consumer Federation of America, moderated the panel. Brown was joined on the panel by Gary Acosta, co-founder and CEO of the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals; David Stevens, CEO of the Mortgage Bankers Association; Kevin Kelly, chair of the National Association of Home Builders; and Mitria Wilson, Director of Legislative and Policy Advocacy for the National Community Reinvestment Coalition. NAR President-elect Chris Polychron, Vice President JoAnne Poole, and CEO Dale Stinton also joined Brown at the White House event.

NAR President Steve Brown presented a framed copy of the NAR resolution commemorating FHA's 80th anniversary that was passed by the Board of Directors in May. Brown (center) is flanked to the left by Shaun Donovan, immediate past secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and to the right by Carole Galante, FHA commissioner. They are flanked by the four most recent FHA commissioners: John Weicher, 2001-2005 (far left) Nic Retsinas (left), 1993-2001, Brian Montgomery, 2005-2009 (far right), and David Stevens, 2010-2012 (right).

Source: NAR