We enter 2009 with many of the challenges from 2008 left unresolved. Foreclosures and tight credit standards continue to plague the South Florida housing market and mounting job losses are impacting the economy's ability to rebound from the current recession. On the positive side home sales have begun to inch upward and the promise of additional stimulus measures by the federal government offer hope that better days for the economy are within reach. Programs introduced by HUD in 2008 such as the Neighborhood Stabilization Program and recent modifications to the Hope for Homeowners programs should begin to have a positive impact in 2009. The HUD Miami Field Office staff looks forward to working with our South Florida community partners in 2009 in helping us meet HUD's mission of promoting responsible homeownership, supporting community development and increasing access to decent affordable housing that is free from discrimination.
Armando Fana, HUD Miami Field Office Director
Time to apply for grants: NOFA News
HUD's 2009 Notice of Funding Availability was recently published. To accelerate the process of awarding grants, HUD will now issue funding notices on a program-by-program basis rather than in a single, SuperNOFA notice as in years past. Key item to remember: Use Adobe Reader 8.1.3 to avoid error messages and technical problems. Also, renew your organization's registration at www.grants.gov today. Getting started with preparations now will put your organization ahead of the game.
State of Housing Counseling 2008
The State of the Housing Counseling Industry: 2008 is a recently completed study commissioned by HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research. This study reviews how housing counseling organizations work with intermediaries and state housing finance agencies, the funding sources and costs of housing counseling, the characteristics of clients and their housing counselors, and client outcomes. Challenges the housing counseling industry faces and how HUD can best support quality housing education and counseling are also discussed. Read the report here
New FHA Limits in Your Area
New limits on the maximum mortgage amounts FHA will insure on one-, two-, three- and four-unit houses took effect January 1st, 2009. Click here to see the new FHA limits in your area
Easy-to-read Good Faith Estimates
For the first time in more than 30 years, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has issued long-anticipated mortgage reforms that will help consumers to shop for the lowest cost mortgage and avoid costly and potentially harmful loan offers. HUD will require that lenders and mortgage brokers provide consumers with a standard Good Faith Estimate (GFE) that clearly discloses key loan terms and closing costs. Read here all about RESPA
FHA Appraiser Roster
On October 1, 2008, FHA stopped accepting applications to the FHA Appraiser Roster from licensed but uncertified appraisers. All applicants for the FHA Appraiser Roster must be state certified (certified residential or certified general) appraisers who meet the minimum certification criteria issued by the Appraiser Qualifications Board (AQB) of the Appraisal Foundation. Read here Mortgagee Letter 2008-39. Got FHA Questions? Search our online knowledge base and find answers to our most commonly asked questions. Use "live help" to get on-line technical support. You can also get email technical support at: email@example.com or phone FHA toll-free between 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. ET (5:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. PT) at: (800) CALL-FHA or (800) 225-5342. Call FHA TDD at: (877) TDD-2HUD (877) 833-2483).
HUD Secretary's Award for Excellence
HUD, in partnership with Professional Builder magazine and the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), announced the 13th annual HUD Secretary's Award for Excellence competition as part of the annual Best in American Living Awards—the nation's foremost residential design competition. The HUD Secretary's Award for Excellence competition recognizes innovation and design excellence produced through public and private efforts that expand homeownership opportunities for American families whose incomes do not exceed 80 percent of the area median income (AMI). This category also considers the median home price of the metropolitan statistical area (MSA) for reference.
Deadline for Registration is July 1, 2009. To be considered for the award, the development's first home must be completed or the first model home opened after May 1, 2008, and before July 15, 2009. A multiphase project is considered one development. If the development includes a variety of unit types, the submission must clearly identify which affordable unit type is being submitted for consideration and denote the unit type's location(s) throughout the development.
Each submission must include a written design statement that illustrates how the project embodies design excellence and exhibits innovation. It must also include a written finance statement that describes the financing structure of the development (e.g., funding sources and uses, mixed-income makeup, and families served). Read about judging criteria.
Fair Market Rent in 2009
Need to find information on fair market rent? Check the database. This system shows the calculation of the final FY 2009 Fair Market Rents (FMRs) for any area of the country. After selecting the geography, either the metropolitan area or the state then the county, a page with the final FY 2009 FMRs for that selected area is shown.
A new website called Disasterassistance.gov began a new simplified process to help disaster applicants navigate the different types of assistance to find those that are right for them. A visitor to disasterassistance.gov may now choose to apply directly with FEMA online or first answer a brief series of questions that can direct them toward more agencies or assistance that best fits their situation. The Disasterassistance.gov program combines sixteen different federal agencies that collectively sponsor 50 different forms of assistance.
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