On June 21, NAHB CEO Jerry Howard met with Lopa Kolluri, HUD’s Principle Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Office of Housing-Federal Housing Administration, and her leadership team to discuss housing affordability concerns.
Howard stated that the current affordable housing crisis is a problem of insufficient supply. He stressed that NAHB members are finding it “incredibly difficult or impossible” to build affordable housing due to the skyrocketing cost of construction materials. To emphasize this point, he added that lumber prices have risen over 400% from where they were a year ago.
Howard further stated that consumers will be unable to reap the benefits of federal programs and initiatives to increase homeownership and affordable housing opportunities unless the Biden administration addresses the astronomical costs of materials and supply chain disruptions that are pricing potential home buyers and renters out the market.
In addition, NAHB raised specific concerns about the:
- Importance of FHA’s Single-Family Mortgage Insurance Program for first-time and first-generation minority home buyers;
- Need to increase staff and subcontracting to expedite processing of the record number of applications for FHA's multifamily mortgage insurance;
- Potential impact on FHA loan underwriting requirements of President Biden’s executive order on financial risks to federal programs from climate change; and
- Devastating toll that lumber prices and supply chain disruptions are taking on the residential construction business.
Kolluri said FHA looks forward to working with NAHB and industry stakeholders to close the racial gap in homeownership and to advance racial equity in rental housing.
Acknowledging the record volume of business that FHA’s multifamily mortgage insurance programs have already done this year, Kolluri said that HUD is taking steps to address the staff shortage in HUD’s multifamily production office.
This is welcome news to NAHB. Earlier this year, NAHB’s Senior Officers urged HUD Secretary Marcia Fudge to address the backlog of FHA multifamily mortgage insurance applications so that apartments affordable to working families can be available sooner.