Chapter Feature: NAHREP Fairfield County excels at building relationships and taking on housing policy in their state

This month, we are featuring the NAHREP Fairfield County chapter for their great work in building relationships with elected officials and making real policy change happen! In the last year, the chapter featured Connecticut’s Governor Ned Lamont and other top-ranking housing officials within the state at their events. The chapter has worked hard to leverage existing relationships and build new ones, simply by reaching out and sharing NAHREP’s message. Due to those relationships, the chapter was able to advance NAHREP’s mission and make real policy changes happen when it was needed the most.

FHFA announces updated credit scoring model and removes fees for first-time homebuyers

Last month, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) made two big announcements that will benefit millions of borrowers, resulting in cost savings for nearly 1 in 5 borrowers of the Enterprises’ recent mortgage acquisitions. On October 24, 2022, FHFA announced it will reduce upfront fees for certain first-time homebuyers, low-income borrowers, and underserved communities. Separately, FHFA announced its plan to update its credit scoring model, which will consider alternative payment data, such as rent and utilities. NAHREP applauds the FHFA’s decision to reduce costs and expand access to credit for many creditworthy borrowers.

NAHREP urges HUD to decrease FHA Mortgage Insurance Premium and end the life of loan provision

Last month, NAHREP joined the National Housing Resource Center and other housing advocates signed a letter asking HUD to lower the FHA Mortgage Insurance Premium by 25 to 35 basis points and end the life of loan requirement on the FHA Mortgage Insurance Premiums. These changes would make FHA-insured mortgages more affordable for homebuyers at the point of sale and reduce monthly payments in the long term. As the U.S. is currently facing rising interest rates and record low housing affordability, now is a critical time to act on these initiatives.

NAC Blog: Accessory Dwelling Units: Small but mighty force to address the housing shortage

Accessory dwelling units, or ADUs, are a hot topic in the housing space. With the competitive housing market and rising interest rates, having an added source of income can be especially appealing to homeowners. For multigenerational households, ADUs provide additional space for older relatives or young adults in the family. Perhaps more importantly, ADUs can also offer additional housing supply in competitive markets. In 2023, NAHREP intends to execute a strategic plan to advocate for cities and states to not only allow but encourage the building of ADUs as a path to addressing the housing inventory crisis.

NAC Blog: Chapter Feature: NAHREP Lake County meets with U.S. Congressman Schneider on housing

The NAHREP Lake County chapter has been making some big things happen! At a recent educational event on October 10, the chapter hosted U.S. Congressman Brad Schneider to discuss housing policy and other important issues. The event was a huge success and a full house of attendees got a chance to hear about NAHREP’s policy priorities, including Congressman Schneider’s take on housing inventory, immigration, and the recently passed Inflation Reduction Act. The NAHREP policy team got a chance to interview NAHREP Lake County President Carlos Rosado and Treasurer Josh Martinez about what has made their chapter so successful and some takeaways from the event.

NAC Blog: NAHREP urges Congress to act on DACA, providing a path to citizenship for Dreamers

This week, NAHREP issued a statement expressing our disappointment in the Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that affirmed the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program as unlawful. Last year, a Texas-based U.S. District Judge also ruled the program unlawful, in part because it did not follow typical administrative procedure – it had not been subjected to appropriate public notice and comment periods required under Federal law. Last week, the Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the Texas court’s ruling, sending the case back to the lower court to review the newest version of the rule issued by the Biden Administration in late August.

NAC Blog: First-time homebuyers can use positive rental payment history to qualify for FHA-issued mortgages

In some good news, late last month, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) announced that it will allow first-time homebuyers to use positive rental payment history in their credit assessment to see if they are eligible for an FHA mortgage product. Positive rental payment history includes rental payments made on-time during the last twelve months. Adding this rental payment history criteria would allow first-time homebuyers who lack or have a lower credit score greater access to homeownership.

NAC Blog: Zoning 101: Exclusionary zoning as a barrier to housing production

The first comprehensive city zoning ordinance was created in New York City in 1916, in response to a 42-story building built in a Manhattan neighborhood that cast a seven acre shadow, leaving many of its neighbors in the dark. At the same time, New York and other cities across the country were grappling with industrial warehouses and factories cropping up near residential neighborhoods. What started as a public health measure, to protect citizens from pollutants and toxins emitted from industrial sites, quickly turned into a tool to segregate neighborhoods.

NAC Blog: Big Win: AB 2011 passes in California!

Speaking of zoning, in California, the governor recently signed a critical housing bill, AB 2011, “The Affordable Housing and High Road Jobs Act”. NAHREP, alongside other housing advocacy organizations across the state, supported this bill because of its potential to spur millions of affordable homes. AB 2011 allows for affordable housing development on commercially-zoned areas if it meets the affordability, labor, and environmental standards.

NAC Blog: Sneak Peek: 2022 State of Hispanic Wealth Report

In the fall of 2018, I had the opportunity to travel to Puerto Rico for a conference addressing the aftermath of Hurricane Maria. I had just started at NAHREP and was still getting acclimated to the culture of the organization. During that trip, I had the opportunity to get to know the Puerto Rico chapter well. It was through conversations with NAHREP leaders like Eric Haddock, Francisco Fernández, Enrique Morales, and Ivelisse Lopez, that it clicked for me that there was so much more to NAHREP than meets the eye.