KFBB: Sen. Tester pushing for legislation to increase Montanans’ access to mortgages

by Meredith Depping

Legislation to hold the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) accountable to help make sure all Montanans, especially working individuals and families, have access to mortgages is being pushed by Senator Jon Tester.

A release from Tester says the Improving FHA Support for Small-Dollar Mortgages Act would require HUD to review its Federal Housing Administration (FHA) single-family mortgage policies to identify and remove barriers to making insurance available for mortgages of $100,000 or less.

“We have a full blown housing crisis in our state, and we need to do something about it because it’s hurting Montana families, small businesses, and our economy,” said Tester. “The fact is there are still many parts of Big Sky Country where the average price of a home is around $100,000, and Montana families are struggling to access the financing they need to afford them. My bipartisan legislation is going to force the Department of Housing and Urban Development to take a hard look at their policies to see where we can take action to make sure these families aren’t falling through the cracks and that they can achieve the dream of homeownership.”

The release says where the Secretary is empowered to change policies to make these mortgages more available, the legislation instructs her to do so.

Within 12 months, the HUD is also required to submit a report detailing any actions that the Secretary takes and that outlines the agency’s findings so Congress can consider additional action.