The Obama administration’s Home Affordable Modification Program, which relieves homeowners at risk of foreclosure, is being extended for an additional year.
The administration is also expanding an effort to increase access to affordable rental housing, Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew announced Thursday.
The program’s first efforts will focus on restoring affordable housing damaged by Superstorm Sandy in Far Rockaway, Queens. Officials told the Associated Press that the infusion of funds will look to boost construction and renovate existing apartments by reducing the interest rates charged on them. The Treasury Department will also launch an effort to revive the private-label securities market, which prior to the housing crisis provided mortgages for a number of qualified buyers who did not meet eligibility for government-sponsored enterprises like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
The program has so far provided relief to over 1.3 million homeowners, saving them roughly $540 per month on average in mortgage payments, Lew told the AP. The extension will last through Dec. 31 2016, aiding homeowners facing foreclosure or those whose mortgages are larger than the current value of their homes. [AP] — Julie Strickland