What is National Homeownership Month?
National Homeownership Month originated in the United States as an initiative to promote homeownership and educate people about its benefits. In 2002, President George W. Bush proclaimed June as the official month to celebrate homeownership. Since then, it has become an annual tradition to recognize the achievements of homeowners and encourage others to embark on their own homeownership journey. Last month, President Biden once again recognized June 2023 as a month to safeguard the American Dream - ensuring everyone has access to an affordable home in a community of their choice.
During National Homeownership Month the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Federal Housing Administration highlight their commitments to the following:
• Expanding homeownership opportunities to first-time homebuyers, particularly low- and moderate-income households and communities of color.
• Closing the racial homeownership gap by removing barriers and addressing systemic issues that have persisted for decades.
• Introducing and implementing policies to help expand the nation’s housing supply and address current market conditions.
• Helping homeowners who are struggling with their mortgage payments by providing tools to help them stay in their homes.
Why is this important and what's to come?
During the COVID-19 pandemic, mortgage payments became harder to make and rents rose 26 percent nationally. Over the past decades, rising prices have forced people to spend more than 30 percent of their incomes on housing in many places around the country. Since then, we've seen a home affordability crisis like never before in the US.
In February, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) made annual mortgage insurance premiums cheaper, saving Americans with Federal Housing Administration (FHA)-insured mortgages an average of $800 per year. The FHA also made it easier for first-time homebuyers to qualify for mortgage financing by allowing underwriters to take into account positive rental history to determine creditworthiness. And HUD is making it easier for Americans to access resources that help with homeownership, foreclosure avoidance and eviction, financial literacy, financial planning, and more.
At the same time, the federal government has issued a Housing Supply Action Plan with a goal of addressing and eliminating the root causes of the affordable housing shortfall by 2027. That includes making it easier to build mixed-income housing using Low-Income Housing Tax Credits.
Looking ahead, the fiscal year 2024 federal budget calls for $175 billion dedicated to improving home affordability. It would provide down payment assistance to first-time, first-generation homebuyers — helping to make a key part of the American Dream a reality. It would create a new tax credit to directly support building or renovating affordable homes for low- or middle-income buyers. It would also help state and local governments fight restrictive zoning laws and other red tape that stalls new construction and drives up housing prices.
Saving the American dream takes the joint effort of the federal, state, local governments and the private sector. Foyer is proud to play a part in helping Americans enter homeownership in the best way possible.