House Democrats urge Carson to cut mortgage insurance premiums

Congressional Democrats are urging Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson to reinstate the previously scheduled cut to Federal Housing Administration mortgage insurance premiums.

One of President Trump’s first orders of business after being inaugurated on Jan. 20 was to suspend indefinitely cuts FHA mortgage insurance premiums. The suspension put a halt to one of the Obama administration’s final moves before leaving office, announcing a cut to FHA mortgage insurance premiums, marking the second time it reduced premiums in two years.

The FHA said it would’ve cut the annual mortgage insurance premiums most borrowers pay by one-quarter of a percentage point, or 25 basis points.

However, now in July, the suspension still stands, with no information on when this will change, causing Democratic congressmen to ask Carson to retake a look at the cut and make a decision.

“Homeownership is the cornerstone of the American Dream,” Rep. Joyce Beatty (D-OH) said. “Unfortunately, as a result of the 2008 financial crisis, homeownership is out-of-reach for far too many families, especially Millennials and minorities. Lowering the FHA MIP rates, at a time when homeownership rates are at a 50-year low, will remove unnecessary financial barriers, making homeownership a reality for more Americans and helping more lower- and middle-income families build wealth at the same time,” Beatty added.

Beatty, along with 20 Democratic members of Congress, sent a letter to Carson last week, asking him to lower the FHA annual mortgage insurance premium rates by 25 basis points.

“As you continue to analyze and review your decision as to whether or not to lower the annual MIP rates, we implore you to consider the following: the financial strength of the MMIF, historically low homeownership rates and the potential impacts on the economy,” the letter said. “As you publicly stated last month, homeownership “is the foundation of the economy, the spark for vast investment, lending and finance.” The time to ease the financial burdens on homeowners and prospective homeowners trying to realize their American dream has long since passed and the time to lower the annual MIP rates is now.”