WASHINGTON - U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson will take part in a forum Tuesday night in Washington focused on how the nation's housing crisis is impacting millennials who might be looking to buy a first home, or think it's a dream that's out of reach.
President Donald Trump declared June 2017 National Home Ownership Month in the U.S., in an effort to ensure hard-working Americans have a fair chance to become homeowners. HUD's theme for June is #FindYourPlace, and the public can use that hashtag to submit questions to be asked at Tuesday evening's event. HUD and WeWork are co-hosting the Generation Wh(y) Homeownership Forum, which HUD says will discuss the state of homeownership in America as it pertains to millennials. Carson will be among the panel's participants.
According to the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the homeownership rate in America today is 63.6 percent, and in some states, it's over 70 percent. First-time buyers make up 35 percent of people who have bought homes in the last year, and the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies projects that the U.S. will add 13.6 million households in the next eight years-- and 11.5 million more between 2025 and 2035.
While this news is good, HUD says the housing market is becoming a lost dream for some millennials, and they're working to create more viable options for credit-worthy millennials. One such option is the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), which has helped over 46 million Amercians buy or refinance their homes. HUD says an estimated 40 percent of first-time buyers use FHA for financing. New data shows that 35 percent of all FHA loans were closed by millennials.
HUD says they are working on finding more ways to give first-time buyers who are creditworthy the chance to own a home, including by under some circumstances allowing FHA to lower its required owner-occupancy standard for approved condominium developments from 50 percent to 35 percent (via the The Housing Opportunity through Modernization Act of 2016). HUD says this ultimately allows more people, including millennials, to use FHA to purchase a condo.
Fannie Mae also recently announced it would reduce its debt to income ratio to attract more millennials to homeownership.