HUD hosts a forum on “New Era in Homeownership” Forum – June 1st, 2017

On June 1, SP Group attended the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) forum on homeownership that kicked off National Homeownership Month. Ben Carson, HUD Secretary, in his opening remarks stated:

“After all we’ve been through, homeownership remains an American value and the cornerstone of our economy. Today, we recognize the abiding value of owning a home, and rededicate ourselves toward ensuring that every hardworking and credit-worthy American enjoys a fair chance at becoming a homeowner.”

The forum’s panelists and speakers focused on the changing landscape of homeownership, as well as the housing market for millennials. Jonathan Spader, from the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University, touched on the predicted homeownership trends for millennials. He shared that the evidence suggests that millennials aspire to be homeowners, but millennials are choosing to delay homeownership due to delays in childbirth and other financial hurdles when compared to baby boomers and Gen X population who became homeowners in similar age brackets.

All panelist seemed to agree that the biggest barrier to homeownership is a lack of availability of affordable homes.  The affordability issue is further exacerbated by the elevated home prices and declining supply of new construction.

Christie Peale, of Center for NYC Neighborhoods, discussed the important role of housing counseling in facilitating and preserving homeownership. She noted that we can’t solve today’s problems with yesterday’s tools, and suggested the need for flexible sources of federal funding.  She pointed out that even for homes that are affordable, a first time homebuyer often faces competition from investors who bring easy access to capital but are more interested in flipping the property rather than neighborhood development.  Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist and Senior VP of Research at National Association of Realtors, added that FHA financing will continue to play a critical role in promoting sustainable homeownership. 

The forum ended with a final question from audience member Sarah Gerecke, the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Housing Counseling at HUD. Ms. Gerecke asked the panel about the overhang from the recent foreclosure crisis such as HELOC resets. The panelists agreed that the impact of the crisis is still felt and added that the backlog of unresolved foreclosures in judicial states may continue to drag the negative impact. 

SP Group has conducted extensive research on the impact of foreclosure crisis and neighborhood stabilization as well as the continued need for housing counseling.  For further information, please contact us at