MBA asks House support for housing priorities in T-HUD bill.

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The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), in a May 10 letter to House budget appropriators, urged support for a number of legislative priorities in the administration's Transportation, Housing and Urban Development appropriations bill for fiscal year 2017. [paragraph] The appropriations legislation, known as T-HUD, is a $56.5 billion bill that covers key transportation initiatives, but also the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) fiscal year 2017 budget. The House Appropriations Committee, and specifically the House Appropriations Transportation and HUD subcommittee, were expected to take up the bill in May.

MBA Senior Vice President of Legislative and Political Affairs Bill Killmer outlined a number of MBA-supported priorities in the T-HUD bill, including:

* Resources for FHA--MBA continues to staunchly support providing the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) with the resources, both in staffing and systems upgrades, that it needs. Killmer urged the committee to continue, as it has over the past two budget cycles, to block HUD from charging a fee to single-family lenders as a funding mechanism to cover FHA's administrative costs.

"Instead, we have urged Congress to fund FHA's needs through the regular appropriations process, as has been the practice for decades," Killmer wrote. "We are especially pleased the Senate Appropriations Committee, in its version of the pending HUD appropriations bill, specifically designated $13 million in information technology funds for FHA via a $23 million increase (above the fiscal year 2016 enacted level) for HUD's Information Technology Fund. We believe this is a far better way to fund an agency's technology needs--rather than through an unprecedented off-budget fee that will undoubtedly be passed on to the very borrowers FHA is designed to serve and ultimately raise the cost of homeownership."

* Ginnie Mae funding--MBA supports providing the full $23 million requested for Ginnie Mae's staffing, training and technology needs. "Given Ginnie Mae's key role in providing liquidity targeted to low- and moderate-income families, first-time homebuyers, renters, veterans and rural households, this funding level is necessary to prudently manage the increased loan...

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