SAN DIEGO — President George W. Bush’s proposed HUD budget for next year was roundly praised by the Mortgage Bankers’ Association of America at the group’s annual convention in San Diego, which began yesterday. The MBA embraced several of the budget’s initiatives that will add new affordable housing and increase homeownership.

"We are pleased that the Housing and Urban Development budget addresses a number of critical housing concerns," said MBA chairman John Courson. "The proposed budget goes a long way toward reaching the administration’s goal to increase minority homeownership by 5.5 million families over the next decade."

The MBA supports a host of initiatives in the proposed budget for fiscal year 2004, which was recently released. One of those initiatives, the Multifamily Insurance Premium will reduce the insurance premium on the multifamily new construction program from 57 to 50 basis points. Another proposal calls for a new FHA financing option that allows borrowers with poor credit to receive a loan with a slightly higher premium rate, but rewards them for "good behavior" by reducing their monthly mortgage insurance premiums after 24 consecutive on-time payments.

The budget also provides for direct funding to the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight (OFHEO). This funding will put OFHEO on equal footing with other financial regulators while also helping it pursue its mission of ensuring effective oversight of the Government-Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs).

"We look forward to working with HUD to make the case on Capitol Hill that all American families should have access to the American Dream," said Courson.