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News Clips

Market Watch , Thursday, May 05, 2016
(RECAP: The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau unveiled a proposed rule Thursday to restrict the use of arbitration clauses in consumer financial contracts, a step that would shift power to consumers and away from companies for a wide range of financial products from credit cards to bank accounts to private student loans. The CFPB aims to prohibit financial companies from using mandatory-arbitration clauses in contracts with consumers as a way to block class-action lawsuits and force customers into private negotiations to solve disputes. The clauses have become standard in recent years, aided by a string of court rulings that have limited consumers’ ability to file lawsuits.)
Multi-Housing News , Wednesday, May 04, 2016
(RECAP: A recent USC housing expert’s study reveals that Millennials have begun moving out of downtown area and into more single-family homes as the market loosens and the economy improves. Millennials in cities nationwide have flocked to fill downtown apartments over the past decade, but the study predicts that the real estate market should brace for a major migration out of core urban areas. Last year marked a major turning point as the country’s urban centers reached “peak” millennial saturation. The study, published in the journal Housing Policy Debate, examined population data in the American Community Survey, the Current Population Survey; building permit data from the U.S. Census Bureau; and employment data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, as well as surveys by the National Association of Realtors.)
National Mortgage News , Wednesday, May 04, 2016
(RECAP: The FHFA announced Wednesday it had raised a cap on the amount of multifamily loans Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac can buy from lenders, boosting it to $35 billion effective immediately. The adjustment from the previous cap of $31 billion is warranted "based on increased estimates of the overall size of the 2016 multifamily finance market," the agency said. The cap is supposed to ensure the government-sponsored enterprises don’t crowd private investors out of the multifamily market. The multifamily cap was set last May when FHFA decided to exclude subsidized affordable housing, manufactured housing communities, small multifamily properties (5-50 units) and certain other affordable rentals from the limit. Those exclusions will remain in place. Due to these exclusions, Fannie financed $42.3 billion in multifamily loans and Freddie financed $47.3 billion in 2015 without exceeding the cap. The Mortgage Bankers Association welcomed FHFA's decision.)
Augusta Free Press , Wednesday, May 04, 2016
(RECAP: U.S. Senators Mark Warner and Tim Kaine announced the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development will receive $3,140,000 from HUD’s Housing Trust Fund. The funding is aimed at preserving the supply of low-income housing and increasing homeownership for low-income families across Virginia. Kaine, a former fair housing attorney, requested increased funding last year for the HTF in a letter to the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, and Housing and Urban Development.)
Brookings, Tuesday, May 03, 2016
(RECAP: Many worry that student loans are a drag on the economy, particularly the housing market. Analyses from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, cited by leading economists, do not provide compelling evidence for this hypothesis. The New York Fed data contain no information about education. More complete data from researchers at the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System reveal a different story. The striking gap in homeownership is not between college-educated people who did and did not borrow, but between those with and without a college education.)
Realtor.com, Tuesday, May 03, 2016
(RECAP: Differences in household demographics and affordable financing options spur homebuying demand for young active-service military members, causing them to significantly outpace the share of non-military homebuyers under the age of 35, according to the first-ever 2016 Veterans & Active Military Home Buyers and Sellers Profile, which evaluates the differences of recent active-service and veteran home buyers and sellers1 compared to those who’ve never served. The survey also found that while nearly all veteran and non-military buyers and sellers use an agent, usage is practically universal among active-service military members.)
The Virginian-Pilot, Tuesday, May 03, 2016
(RECAP: An affordable apartment complex for seniors is one of the first signs of revitalization in one of the city’s oldest historically black neighborhoods. Residents, developers and city leaders gathered Tuesday morning at the front of the Burton Station neighborhood off Northampton Boulevard for the official groundbreaking of Tranquility at the Lakes. It will be a 40-unit senior living project handled by the nonprofits Community Housing Partners and Seniors Unlimited Lifestyles. Residents will have to be 62 or older, and five of the units will be completely accessible. The rest will use universal design components, which allow people with and without disabilities to use things like doorknobs, handles and more.)
RealEstateRama, Tuesday, May 03, 2016
(RECAP: HUD announced today that it is making $37.3 million available to fight housing discrimination under HUD’s 2016 Fair Housing Initiatives Program (FHIP) Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA). This year’s three funding notices support a variety of important fair housing activities, including fair housing testing in the rental and sales market, public education efforts, capacity building, and education and outreach activities. The categories of grants announced today are: Education and Outreach Initiative grants (EOI) – $7,450,000 available, Fair Housing Organizations Initiative (FHOI) – $500,000 available and Private Enforcement Initiative grants (PEI) – total multi-year funding is $29,375,000.)
The Hill , Tuesday, May 03, 2016
(RECAP: Housing industry and mortgage advocates say Freddie Mac’s $354 million first-quarter net loss should sound an alarm on Capitol Hill that there is an urgent need to overhaul the nation’s housing finance system. Government-controlled Freddie, which reported strong business during the January-March quarter, won’t pay the Treasury Department a quarterly dividend after recording the shortfall. Ed Brady, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders and a homebuilder from Bloomington, Ill., said “Congress and the administration must end their dawdling and make it a top priority to fix our nation's housing finance system." There has been growing concern among congressional lawmakers and industry experts that falling profits for two agencies could put taxpayers back on the hook for future losses that exceed Fannie's and Freddie's capital buffers.)
DSNews , Tuesday, May 03, 2016
(RECAP: On April 4, 2016, HUD’s General Counsel released guidance for all housing providers (not just those who are HUD subsidized) regarding how the use of criminal background checks could potentially violate fair housing laws. If you are a Landlord and run criminal background checks as part of your screening process, it is important for you to become familiar with the guidance. Although this is HUD guidance, rather than law, it clearly outlines how HUD would analyze a fair housing complaint based on the use of criminal background checks to deny housing.)
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