Piece by Piece
Fannie/Freddie lending to low income families
Evictions Soar
Renters not buying. Why?
Portfolio Lending: Flexible options
BofA Settlement
Veteran Homelessness Improving
Home for Heroes
White House: Military Mortgage Program
HomeSafe Georgia - Serving More
Housing Credit Too Tight?
FHA Distressed Asset Sales Program Examined
Invest Atlanta Offers New Program
Increase in Concentrated Poverty
ARC survey: What do you think?
Calendar Items


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Piece by Piece Update

September 2014





Please take note of the following news and calendar updates:


Mel Watt to Maintain Fannie/Freddie Lending to Lower-Income Families

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac would maintain current levels of home-mortgage purchases meant to spur lending to lower-income borrowers though 2017 under a proposal released by the Federal Housing Finance Agency.  The proposal is an indication that FHFA Director Mel Watt, who took the helm eight months ago, won't dramatically reshape the role the companies play in aiding low-income families. MORE


Evictions Soar in Hot Rental Market


(Courtesy of Housing Matters and New York Times): For tens of thousands of renters, life has become increasingly unstable in recent years, even as the economy has slowly improved. Middle-class wages have stagnated and rents have risen sharply in many places, fueled by growing interest in urban living and a shortage of rental housing. The result is a surge in eviction cases.In Georgia, where court statistics do not differentiate between tenants evicted by a landlord and homeowners evicted after foreclosure, eviction filings soared to almost 270,000 last year, a 9 percent jump since 2010. Over the same period, the number of foreclosures dropped by half.  MORE


Why Aren't More Renters Buying Homes


A new interactive map from the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies reveals that in many metro areas across the U.S., more than 50 percent of renters could afford to own a home. To create the map, researchers used data from a variety of sources to calculate both the homeownership costs and renter incomes in 85 of the nation's 100 largest metro areas. One thing that could be putting homeownership out of reach for young renters is a credit market that's still too tight.  Another factor muddying the water for would-be homeowners: competition from corporations buying up houses.  MORE

Portfolio Lending On the Rise: What it Means for Affordable Homebuyers 

Many lenders are increasing their efforts to diversify their mortgage products in the affordable housing arena.  A recent ANDP review of "portfolio lending" by major banks in the metro Atlanta market reveals that the flexible mortgage product is on the rise.

What is a portfolio lender? A portfolio lender is one that originates mortgage loans and keeps the loans in-house, as opposed to selling the loan in the secondary market (Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, FHA etc.). In this scenario, the underwriting guidelines are set by the portfolio lender as opposed to the secondary market. Thus, the portfolio lenders are able to provide borrowers with more flexible loan products.

ANDP surveyed seven major lenders, five of which offer one or more portfolio products aimed at the affordable home buyer. Click HERE for a breakdown of the portfolio products available.  

B of A Reaches $16.65 Billion Mortgage Settlement; Largest Settlement Between US and Single Company


Under the terms of the settlement, Bank of American will pay $9.65 billion in cash to the Justice Department, six states and other government agencies. The bank also will provide $7 billion in consumer aid by modifying mortgages for borrowers who owe more than their homes are worth, demolishing derelict properties or other relief. MORE


Progress in Addressing Homelessness Among Veterans; 33% Drop Since 2010


(Courtesy of NHC/Rebekah King): HUD recently announced that veteran homelessness has declined by 33 percent since 2010. This achievement shows that interventions through the Housing First model and HUD's Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing voucher program are working. The federal goal is to end veterans' homelessness by 2015. MORE

Home for Heroes; Financial Services Industry Donates 5,500 REO Homes Targeted to Veterans


"Project Patriotism: Home for Heroes" highlights the ongoing work of the financial services industry to use foreclosed and abandoned properties to meet the unique housing needs of the veteran population.  To date, industry members have donated an estimated 5,500 properties for veteran homeownership programs, according to a recent publication produced by the Financial Services Roundtable, the Housing Policy Council and HOPE NOW Alliance.  MORE


White House Announces Military Mortgage Program


(Courtesy of Enterprise Capital Express): The Obama Administration announced a new program to make it easier for active-duty servicemen and servicewomen to afford homes. The White House hopes the plan will help thousands of military families save hundreds of dollars or more each year. Currently, Americans serving on active duty are eligible to have their home interest rates and some other debt fees capped at 6% under a 2003 law, but they must first prove their eligibility to lenders. Wells Fargo Bank, Bank of America, Ocwen Loan Servicing, CitiMortgage and Quicken Loans are participating in the program. The five companies are also pledging to more frequently check Defense Department databases to see whether their customers are entitled to unclaimed benefits.  MORE


HomeSafe Georgia Marketing Strategy Drives New Applications for Assistance


A new emphasis on marketing and communications has resulted in an increase in applications for HomeSafe Georgia, the statewide program to help unemployed and underemployed homeowners save their homes from foreclosure.  In 2014's second quarter, 1,183 new applications were submitted, a 12 percent increase compared to the previous quarter. Of those new applications, 478 were filed in June, the highest number for any single month so far this year.  MORE

Housing Credit Too Tight? 


(Courtesy of HousingWire): The credit restriction pendulum has swung too far according to some leaders of the Bipartisan Policy Center Housing Commission.  The Qualified Mortgage rule has put the squeeze on would-be homebuyers seeking a mortgage. People with lower income, the self-employed, those with credit scores on the margin, and people whose income comes from tips, bonuses or other harder to document sources are definitely being are all facing an uphill battle.  Industry analysts say that anywhere from 10% on the low side to 20% on the high side of people who have a mortgage now would not qualify for a mortgage under today's rules.  MORE


CAP Report Examines FHA Distressed Asset Sales Program; Makes Recommendations for Improvements


Two years after the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), launched the Distressed Asset Stabilization Program (DASP), a new Center for American Progress (CAP) report examines the results of the program so far and provides recommendations for how the program could better serve homeowners and neighborhoods while also protecting taxpayers. CAP's analysis relies both on a new report on DASP outcomes released by FHA last week and on independent research that CAP conducted with DASP buyers and stakeholders. MORE


Invest Atlanta Offers Fannie Mae Flagship Affordable Housing Program 


Invest Atlanta has announced its Housing Finance Division has been selected as one of five in the nation to offer Fannie Mae's flagship affordable housing program, Housing Finance Agencies (HFA) Preferred. The program enables Invest Atlanta to offer home loans at below-market interest rates to first-time homebuyers with low mortgage insurance costs. MORE


New Brookings Report: Increase in Concentrated Poverty


(Courtesy of Enterprise Capital Express): Despite the 24 percent decline during the 1990s, the number of people living in high-poverty neighborhoods between 2000 and 2012 has increased by 76 percent, according to a new Brookings report. High-poverty neighborhoods are defined as areas with 40 percent or more of the population living below the poverty line. The report finds that the vast majority of the increase in these neighborhoods is attributed to suburban poverty rather than urban poverty. MORE

REMINDER: Help Make Metro Atlanta Better; Participate in ARC Survey


Now through the end of September, ARC is reaching out to the public and many organizations throughout the Atlanta region to share the aspirational vision developed by the ARC Board and to get feedback and opinions about actions to achieve these goals.  One of the ways that they are soliciting this feedback is through an online survey available HEREThis is the first of several surveys that they will be conducting over the next year as we update our Regional Plan.  Make your voice heard.




Share your calendar items with us! Please email Susan Adams at [email protected] with news of your upcoming events.


For the HomeSafe Georgia calendar items below, visit www.HomeSafeGeorgia.com for more information.


September 16, 2014 - Annual Resource Fair, Lanier Technical College, Oakwood Campus, 9 AM - Noon;


September 20, 2014 - 1st Annual Community Housing Fair; Garden City Gym, Garden City;  10 a.m. - 2 p.m


September 23, 2014 - Veterans Helping Veterans;  Hilton Garden Inn- Midtown, Savannah; 9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.;


September 26, 2014 - Robins Air Force Base CPS Job Fair; Heritage Club, Robins Air Force Base; 9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.;


September 27, 2014 - Community Housing Fair; Wellston Center, Warner Robins;  9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.;


September 30, 2014 - South Clayton Job Fair South Clayton Recreation Center, Hampton; 10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.;


Homeowners who became unemployed or underemployed within the last 36 months may be eligible for temporary mortgage payment assistance;   and homeowners who have experienced other financial hardships within the last 36 months i.e. those associated with military service, death of a spouse, or medical hardships may be eligible for HomeSafe Georgia assistance.    We encourage potential eligible homeowners to attend one of the events.


Churches, clubs and community organizations are encouraged to inform others about the above events and to help those without internet access to apply for these funds. For more information, please visit www.HomeSafeGeorgia.com



September 15 - CFPB Free Training for Housing Counselors; 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM, Georgia State Bar Association, 104 Marietta St NW (Suite 100) Atlanta, GA 30303.  To attend, please RSVP (with full name, email, and organization/affiliation) to David Pope via email at [email protected].  This in-person training for housing counselors and attorneys will explore the new mortgage servicing rules that became effective 01/10/2014.  The rules will affect the rights of your clients and how mortgage servicers are supervised for compliance.

September 15-16:  Housing America's Future: New Directions for National Policy 2014 Housing Summit, Washington, D.C.  The summit will offer significant national policy discussion on housing issues and feature a number of well-known speakers from around the country. MORE



September 15 - 19 - NCRC's Training Academy will be hosting the next training series in Atlanta, GA.  Registration links below:


9/15-18, Managing and Curing Mortgage Delinquencies MORE

9/15-18, HUD Housing Counseling Program Requirements MORE

9/19, NEW: Privacy & Confidentiality MORE



October 7 - Community and Economic Development Symposium "On the Rebound," Georgia Tech Hotel and Conference Center.  This event, hosted by APD Solutions,  will bring business and community leaders, elected officials, board members and others involved in community redevelopment and economic development across the southeast to collaborate on innovative strategies that stimulate sustainable growth in our communities. MORE

October 29 - Save the Date - Fall Affordable Housing Conference, Presented by Georgia ACT. State Bar of Georgia, 104 Marietta Street, Atlanta, GA 30303. More details soon.


November 18-20: National Housing Conference (NHC) Solutions 2014 Conference in Oakland, CA.  National conference on state and local housing policy will feature best practices in helping communities across the country meet affordable housing challenges.  Online registration is now available.  www.nhc.org/Solutions-2014.html 




Susan Adams

Piece by Piece Coordinator