HUD:Obama’s immigration reform could help housing

by MPA20 Nov 2014
Tonight President Obama will announce the details of his heavily anticipated immigration reform plan that could grant legal status to millions of illegal immigrants, which, in turn, could help the nation’s fastest-growing demographic purchase homes, according to officials.

Hispanics are expected to more than double their population to about 128 million by 2060, and are likely to drive future U.S. housing demand, according to Freddie Mac.

Recent data from the GSE shows that Hispanics are currently the leading demographic in the housing market. Over the past decade, more and more Hispanics have come to own their own home in the United States, as the number of homeowners for the group doubled by 59% from 2000 to 2013.

And by 2025, Hispanics are expected to account for up to 40% of all new households, according to forecasts based on data from the Harvard Center for Housing Studies and the U.S. Census Bureau.

“If you are wondering who tomorrow’s home buyers will be, look no further than the nation’s fastest-growing population segment — Hispanics,” said Christina Diaz-Malone of Fannie Mae.

In an interview with The Washington Post, Julian Castro, secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), said the Hispanic community is an important component to the housing recovery.

“Having sound immigration policy is important because it gives more certainty to the 11 million or so folks who are here, who are undocumented,” he said in the interview. “If we are able to provide more certainty, you will see more folks, who now are in limbo, deciding in the future to actually purchase a home.”

The president and his aides have been working on orders that would grant legal status or defer deportation for to up to 5 million migrants currently in the country illegally. Approximately 11 million to 12 million undocumented immigrants are in the country.

In an August speech, Obama tied immigration reform to building a sustainable housing market. “When more people buy homes and play by the rules, home values go up for everybody."

However, many hispanics lack income stability and knowledge of how to increase their credit scores. “Sometimes they don’t make enough money, or they have seasonal jobs,” said Edgar Santiago, a senior mortgage loan consultant at Inlanta Mortgage.

The group in general, start the homebuying process with less income, which naturally leads to stark differences in the amount of down payment they are able to afford, according to a joint report by Zillow and the National Urban League.
Freddie Mac is working closely with housing counselors, nonprofits and other organizations to help provide financial education, pre-purchase counseling and down payment and closing cost assistance to Hispanics.

Editor's Note: Mortgage Professional America does not take a stance on this issue.


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