Market Overview

Homeowners, Renters Given More Affordable Options


The Federal Housing Administration and the U.S. Department of Treasury have entered into a financial partnership aimed at supporting FHA’s multifamily mortgage risk-sharing program to help struggling homeowners avoid foreclosure, increase access to affordable rental options and expand access to credit for borrowers. 


FHA Commissioner Carol Galante and Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew today said the partnership is part of the Obama Administration’s efforts to improve the nation’s housing sector.


In addition, Lew announced an extension of the MHA program for at least one year and a new effort to help jumpstart the Private Label Securities (PLS) market. Before speaking at the Summit, Secretary Lew met with homeowners and housing counselors at the Greater Washington Urban League, a non-profit organization that provides direct services and advocacy to more than 65,000 individuals each year.


With the new HUD-Treasury partnership, the Federal Financing Bank (FFB) will use its authority to finance FHA-insured mortgages that support the construction and preservation of rental housing. The first partnership – announced today – with the New York City Housing Development Corporation will help restore affordable rental housing damaged by Superstorm Sandy in Far Rockaway, Queens.


“Families have been especially hard hit during the rental housing crisis.  Demand is soaring and prices are climbing,” said Carol Galante, Federal Housing Administration Commissioner and Assistant Secretary for Housing, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.  “To help the many hard working families who cannot find affordable rental housing, we are partnering with the Treasury Department, to broaden our efforts to create and preserve safe, decent and affordable rental housing by allowing more Housing Finance Agencies access to the capital they need to build or maintain affordable multifamily apartment buildings.”


“Families and neighborhoods across the country continue to recover from the financial crisis, and we must not lose our resolve to help them, even as the economy continues to expand,” said Lew.  “From day one, the Obama Administration has worked to provide relief to struggling homeowners and stabilize hard-hit communities. Today’s announcement continues that effort. These new actions will help provide more affordable options for renters, assist homeowners facing foreclosure or juggling bills to pay their mortgages and expand access to credit for prospective borrowers.”


Lew added the government is extending MHA at least until December 31, 2016, to allow the Administration to continue assisting homeowners facing foreclosure and those whose homes are underwater. To date, the MHA program has provided relief to homeowners across the country, including more than 1.3 million homeowners who have permanently modified their mortgages, saving a median of $540 a month in mortgage payments. 


The Treasury Department’s housing assistance programs have also become a model for the broader housing sector, setting a new standard for the mortgage industry on how to restructure loans and help homeowners.  More than five million homeowners have been helped by private lenders who have, in many cases, used a similar framework to the one created by MHA’s Home Affordable Modification Program. 


The real estate sector is expected to be given a boost with the partnership between the  FHA the Treasury Department. In the real estate technology segment, digital media companies like Realbiz Media Group, Inc. (OTCQB: RBIZ)are changing the marketing landscape by providing real estate professionals a new avenue to promote themselves and their business.   

RealBiz Media’s, for example, aims to bestow agents control over how they want to run marketing campaigns for their listings. The portal has been launched at a time when the only means for agents to capture leads is to buy them from listing companies and websites.

“’s mission is to both empower the real estate agentand to connect the homeowner and homebuyer directly with the agent in a personalized and meaningful relationship without interference from large, impersonal, third party lead generation sites,” Realbiz Media President and Chief Revenue Officer Steve Marques noted in a statement.

“Homebuyers are able to create personalized video collections of potential homes to be set-up for review and sharing. Agents can quickly bring their listings to life via RealBiz’s rich video conversion tools, and market their properties directly to homeowners and homebuyers in a personalized, customized, entertaining, and engaging format no matter where they are," Marques said of the platform.

RealBiz is a publicly traded company. Its stocks closed at $0.13, up by 8.25 percent from its previous close.

The preceding article is from one of our external contributors. It does not represent the opinion of Benzinga and has not been edited.


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