America is still the Greatest Country in the world. We have our problems no doubt but if our great country is so horrible why are millions putting their lives and families at great peril to get here. The American dream of home ownership is a shared dream outside of America. However in our country this dream is realized far more often than most countries. My personal faith in our chaotic Leadership as of late remains confident our laws will continue to encourage home ownership. Historically beginning in 1937 with the establishment of U.S. Housing Act of 1937 cleared the way for programs to encourage home ownership. In 1965 Department of Housing and Urban Development Act of 1965 creates HUD as Cabinet-level agency. The following year in 1966 Robert C. Weaver became the first HUD Secretary, January 18. Almost two years later riots in major cities following the assignation of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr the Civial Rights Act of 1968 (also know as the Fair Housing Act) outlaws most housing discrimination and gives HUD enforcement responsibility. The Housing Act of 1968 established the Government National Mortgage Association (Ginnie Mae) to expand availability of mortgage funds for moderate income families using government guaranteed mortgage-backed securities.
I personally tend to look at history to gauge the future and the advancement of home ownership was often a result of trying and often times of crisis. For this reason I have strong faith in Democracy as we have known it and pray we continue to learn from our mistakes. In 1973 President Nixon declared a moratorium on housing and community development assistance. I was barely 10 years old but this had to dampen enthusiasm for middle income to low income families struggling to survive. In 1974 home ownership and especially low income tenants were given a big boost with the Housing and Community Development Act consolidating programs into Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program. Better known to most Americans as Section 8 tenant-based certificates increase low-income tenant’s choice of housing. Gerald Ford becomes president following Nixon’s resignation. (Note: Ford was the only President never elected).
Following the appointment of Carla A Hills to HUD Secretary, March 10, 1975 by Ford. President Carter appoints Patricia R. Harris to HUD Secretary January 23, 1977 and gives distressed communities funds for residential use. These positive steps towards home ownership were thwarted by 1979 when inflation hit 19 percent, seriously impacting home ownership and home mortgage loans. I recall this clearly because in 1981 I began a Real Estate Career and interest rate hovered at 12-13% even peaking at 17% for a short time. Nothing was being purchased because the cost of money was so high. In 1980 the Deregulation and Monetary Control Act changed the rules on governing thrift institutions and expands alternative mortgages.
In 1981 Samuel R. Pierce Jr was appointed to HUD Secretary by President Reagan January 23, 1981. Interest rates peaked at 15-17 % up from 7% in 1972. In 1987 Stewart B. McKinney Act set up programs to help communities deal with homelessness setting the stage for many other programs. In 1988 HUD is given new responsibilities under the Indian Housing Act for housing needs of Native Americans and Alaskan Indians. Housing and Community Development Act allows the sale of public housing to resident management corporations. Fair Housing Amendments Act makes is easier for victims of discrimination to sue, stiffens penalties for offenders.
The 80’s for me was a time that brings smiles and fond memories but not unlike the crisis of 2008 of the mortgage industry, there were many people that remember this as a time of crisis. In 1989 Jack F. Kemp is appointed to HUD Secretary by President George H. Bush and the Financial Institutions’ Reform, Recovery, and Enforcement Act bails out failing thrift institutions. (Does this sound familiar?) However, for the first time this forces the hand of our Leaders to do something to encourage real home ownership not just low income tenant housing. For the first time our Leaders began to think more progressive and realize the importance of moving people from renters to owners. The money put back into our economy from home owners stimulates our economy. In 1990 the Cranston-Gonzalez National Affordable Housing Act emphasizes homeownership and tenant based assistance, launches HOME housing block grant. Low-Income Preservation and Residential Homeownership Act of 1990 fortifies Federal commitment to preservation of assisted low-income multifamily housing.
In 1992 Federal Housing Enterprises’ Financial Safety and Soundness Act of 1992 creates HUD Office of Federal Housing Enterprise, Oversight to provide public oversight of FNMA (Fannie Mae) and Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (Freddie Mac). Many of the programs under previous administrations had realized some great benefit to American low income families and middle class was growing. Posturing Americans towards home ownership, a natural progression of events. In 1993 Henry G. Cisneros is named Secretary of HUD.
In 1995 the Blueprint for Reinvention of HUD proposes sweeping changes in public housing reform and FHA, consolidation of other programs into three block grants. In 1996 Home ownership totals 66.3 million American household, the largest number ever. In 1997 Andrew M. Cuomo is named Secretary of Housing and Urban Development. Americans were feeling good about themselves and were once again spent to programs that increased funding for public housing. In 1998 HUD opens Enforcement Center to take action against HUD-assisted multifamily property owners and other HUD fund recipients who violates laws and regulations. This was a necessary action, people are sometimes their own worse enemy and the need for enforcement arises out of greed. Congress approved Public Housing reforms to reduce segregation by are and income, encouraged and rewarded work, bringing more working families into public housing and the availability of subsidized housing for very poor families. In 2000 America home ownership rate reaches another landmark record-high of 67.7 percent in the 3rd quarter of 2000. A total of 71.6 million American families own there homes- more than at any time in American history. On January 23, 2001 Mel Martinez was named by President George W. Bush to be Secretary of Housing and Urban Development and is unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate. Another American High Point !!!
In 2004 Alphonso Jackson, was named Secretary of Housing and Urban Development and unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate March 31, 2004. Home ownership had reached new record highs. President Obama was elected President by overwhelming majority of Americans in 2008. Little attention was paid to the mortgage industry and the Real Estate business until 2009 when Shaun Donovan was sworn in as the 15th Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development on January 26, 2009. His nomination was met with an immediate need to confront the challenges facing the housing market. Once again greed left unattended and the push for mortgage loan approvals for those that could not qualify for home ownership forced lenders to become a bit too creative in mortgage products and combined with the push for lower income families to be qualified sent the industry into a spiral downward. In 2014 Julian Castro was sworn in as the 16th U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development on July 28, 2014.
The American Economy is still slowly plodding along and is showing signs of recovery. More attention is being paid to housing and after 2008 with the Dodd Act, oversight is at the highest level of oversight and responsibility. In many ways the oversight stifles continued growth but given history suggests left unattended history will repeat itself. None the less Americans are the most generous and humble people in the world. We want to see people succeed but we want them to also be productive citizens and not be totally dependent on social programs. When we are born into the United States we are blessed and when other people from other countries see what why people from all over the world are pouring in.
When you begin your home search an important first step would be pre-qualified prior finding your dream home. There are many resources online that provide great confidence to the informed buyer, locating a Realtor and reading reviews from many sources is a great idea. My Team is committed to getting people qualified for home ownership, interest rates are at an all time low. We are a part of Gustan Cho Associates and we will direct and guide you over life obstacles to be an American Home Owner. I am available 7 days a week, holidays and weekends.
Larry Stepp 407-922-4755 LarryS.HomesNetwork@gmail.com