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Housing Policy, Mortgage Policy, and the Federal Housing Administration

Housing Policy, Mortgage Policy, and the Federal Housing Administration

Chapter:
(p.97) 5 Housing Policy, Mortgage Policy, and the Federal Housing Administration
Source:
Measuring and Managing Federal Financial Risk
Author(s):
Dwight M. JaffeeJohn M. Quigley
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226496597.003.0006

To further the goal of increasing homeownership, federal housing policy makes extensive use of credit and tax incentives. These activities involve substantial federal cost and risk. This chapter reviews these risks and estimates the value of indirect and off-budget activities supporting homeownership. The analysis emphasizes the Federal Housing Administration's (FHA) mortgage insurance programs, and revisits their rationale and future role in light of the rapid rise and subsequent fall of the subprime market. Federal housing policy is executed through a complex array of institutions and programs, including the tax code, the FHA, and the Veterans Administration (VA). A comprehensive look at these programs reveals that off-budget policies primarily provide subsidies for middle- and upper-income homeowners and home purchasers, whereas programs subject to Congressional budget appropriations are directed toward lower-income and rental households.

Keywords:   housing policy, federal cost, off-budget activities, homeownership, subprime market, tax code

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