On June 30, 2014, NAR President Steve Brown sent a letter to Federal Housing Administration (FHA) Commissioner Carol Galante in support of FHA’s efforts to reduce mortgage insurance premiums for first-time buyers through its Homeowners Armed with Knowledge program, or HAWK.
HAWK is a pilot program to encourage more housing counseling in the home buying process for borrowers using FHA insured financing. Homebuyers who participate in the program will qualify for reductions in their mortgage insurance premiums for FHA-insured loans. The average buyer could save approximately $325 a year – or almost $9,800 over the life of their loan. While any amount helps, NAR is concerned that many qualified home buyers will still not be able to achieve homeownership unless insurance premiums come down more. NAR recommends that FHA reduce mortgage insurance premiums for all qualified home buyers and offer further reductions for home buyers who participate in the HAWK program.