Two Ways to Improve the 223 (f) Program

Two ways to improve the 223 (f) program that would really extend its usage and help the residents the loan intends to serve  When I left the RTC in 1996 to go back into FHA Multifamily lending, one of my guideposts was Proverbs 19:17, which reads:  “He who helps the poor lends to the Lord and He pays wonderful interest on His loans.” While I have financed my share of high-end apartment properties, my greatest satisfaction in this business is helping to find ways to help less fortunate people live their lives a little better.  While I can’t help them make more money, I can, through FHA, help ensure their homes are working right, are insulated and provide the least headache-inducing home environment possible, at affordable rent I believe the toughest job in the United States is that of a single or unmarried mother of several children struggling with daycare, a low paying job, uncertain child support and an uncertain quality of rental housing.  One of those we FHA Lenders can do something about. I have two proposals for that involve seemingly small technical changes that could have a large impact of the living situation for many families on a tight budget: That ML 10-21 III.B.1 be modified so that 223(f) loans could be submitted for application at a 65% occupancy, and That ML 12-25 V.H. be modified so that the enumerated Repairs and Replacements only require Hub Director approval in, say, the first two years, similar to the terms of ML-12-25 V.D. Let’s discuss these in order: As to reducing the physical occupancy necessary to submit an FHA...