Whether you own your home, rent, live comfortably, are constantly on the edge of having nowhere to live, or have no place to live, policy relating to housing affects you.
In this section, we report on government actions that affect the living situations of Americans.
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HUD seeks to raise rents for low-income and disabled renters
|2018-May-09  (Updated: 2018-Jun-08)||By: Barry Shatzman|
Update 2018-June-8: HUD Secretary Ben Carson announced that he is backing off from this proposal.
Rents for the poorest Americans could triple. Housing assistance for the elderly and disabled could diminish after six years. All of this is part of legislation proposed by the Trump administration.
The proposal from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) would affect those who live in public housing or who receive Section 8 vouchers to help pay their rent.
The minimum rent a family now pays is $50. Under the proposal, that would increase to $150. It would affect about three quarters of a million families over the next several years, according to the New York Times citing HUD officials.
Local governments also would be allowed to impose work requirements on those receiving the benefits. In the short term, work requirements have been shown to increase income. Over time, however, the determining factor for advancement has been the ability to move into better neighborhoods.
The poorest Americans pay more than 30 percent of their income on housing. More than half of those families earning less than $15,000 per year pay more than half of their income on housing.
The proposed policy likely would increase the number of families unable to afford housing. In 2016 - under the current policy - almost a million renters were served eviction notices.
Implementing the proposal would require Congress to enact a law to modify the existing law.
For more, read the New York Times story.
To see where we obtained the data we cited, see this MacArthur Foundation study and this Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University report.
Click here to read the announcement from HUD Secretary Ben Carson.
Trump reverses savings on mortgage premiums
|2017-Jan-20||By: Rob Dennis|
One of Donald Trump's first actions as president will cost some homebuyers an average of $500 this year.
Trump issued an administrative order shortly after taking office to suspend an upcoming cut in the Federal Housing Administration's (FHA) mortgage insurance premium (see our preceding story).
The move will increase costs for more than 750,000 borrowers, according to the National Association of Realtors.
FHA mortgages are popular among low- and moderate-income borrowers because they require a lower downpayment and are more favorable to buyers with lower credit scores.
Private insurance companies compete with FHA to issue mortgage insurance premiums. Reversing the Obama administration's proposal to reduce the rates is likely to help those private insurers, according to Bloomberg.com
FHA insurance price cut will save homeowners hundreds
|2017-Jan-09||By: Barry Shatzman|
The average homeowner whose loan is insured through the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) will save $500 in 2017, as the FHA will reduce the Mortgage Insurance Premium they pay.
The FHA also reduced premiums in 2016, saving affected homeowners an average of $900.
Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Julian Castro said in a press release that the reduction was possible because the agency has enough to cover future claims.
For more, read the CNN Money story.Jump to top of page