UPDATE Jun. 27, 2018: Secretary Ben Carson announced plans to release the final rule easing restriction on FHA loans for condominiums beginning in Sept. 2018.

As the number of FHA-approved condominiums continues to decrease, congressional leaders call on HUD Secretary Ben Carson to act

Senators Tim Scott (R-SC) and Robert Menendez (D-NJ) were joined by 52 U.S. senators in calling for HUD Secretary Ben Carson to comply with updated Federal Housing Administration’s (FHA) condominium rules, according to Community Associations Institute (CAI), the leading authority in community association governance, management, and education.

Congress unanimously enacted the Housing Opportunity Through Modernization Act (HOTMA) in 2016, requiring HUD to implement key reforms to FHA’s condominium rules. HUD has yet to finalize these new rules, which has led to a reduction in approved condominium projects. As of June 12, 9,784 condominiums are FHA-approved, down from the 9,866 FHA-approved condominiums when HOTMA became law. According to FHA mortgage data, condominium unit mortgages accounted for only 2.5 percent of the FHA’s forward book of business in 2017. CAI estimates that currently only 6 percent of condominium projects nationwide are FHA-approved.

“FHA has a duty to serve homeowners and homebuyers in all markets across the country, particularly first-time and minority borrowers,” says CAI’s Senior Vice President of Government and Public Affairs Dawn M. Bauman, CAE. “Current data shows FHA is failing to meet this standard in the condo market. Senators Scott and Menendez are right to lead the call for change.”

Bauman adds that “over the past two years, 3,563 condos did not renew their FHA certification. “The current process is too burdensome, and Congress told HUD to solve this problem two years ago. It’s well past time we did,” she says.

“CAI appreciates Sen. Scott and Sen. Menendez making condominiums a priority. Because of their leadership, 52 other U.S. senators have sent a clear message to the FHA that the issue of condominium approval is an urgent one,” says Thomas M. Skiba, CAE, CAI’s chief executive officer. “We now have a Senate-confirmed FHA commissioner, and CAI calls on Commissioner Brian Montgomery to wrap up the condominium approval rule.” Skiba adds.

The decreasing number of FHA-approved condominium projects was a critical topic at CAI’s Washington, D.C., Advocacy Summit in early May, when more than 150 community association housing advocates met with congressional leaders to encourage them to urge HUD to update FHA’s condominium approval rules. FHA only insures condominium unit mortgages in condominium projects that have active FHA approvals.

CAI applauds and appreciates Senators cosigning the Scott-Menendez letter to Secretary Carson on condominiums:

Sen. Michael Crapo (R-ID), Chair, Senate Banking Committee

Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Ranking Member, Senate Banking Committee

Sen. Tom Tillis (R-NC)*

Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND)*

Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV)*

Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT)*

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)*

Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN)

Sen. Dean Heller (R-NV)*

Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH)

Sen. Tina Smith (D-MN)

Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY)

Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA)

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL)

Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-GA)

Sen. Maggie Hassan (D-NH)

Sen. Todd Young (R-IN)

Sen. Mike Rounds (R-SD)*

Sen. Steve Daines (R-MT)

Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-HI)

Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA)

Sen. Mike Enzi (R-WY)

Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-IL)

Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR)

Sen. Robert Portman (R-OH)

Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA)

Sen. Gary Peters (D-MI)

Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO)

Sen. Richard Durbin (D-IL)

Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT)

Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI)

Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI)

Sen. Doug Jones (D-AL)*

Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO)

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA)

Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE)

Sen. Corey Booker (D-NJ)

Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR)

Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL)

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC)

Sen. John Kennedy (R-LA)*

Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD)*

Sen. John Boozman (R-AR)

Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA)

Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA)

Sen. Tom Carper (D-DE)

Sen. Jerry Moran (R-KS)*

Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX)

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX)

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA)

Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-IL)*

*Senate Banking Committee Member

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