Urban Institute researchers monitor and assess housing market trends, affordable housing, homelessness, federal housing assistance, racial disparities and housing discrimination, and community revitalization. We recommended greater regulation and reforms for subprime mortgages before the housing market collapse and continue to follow its effects on families and neighborhoods. Our research informs decisionmakers with neighborhood-level data and evaluations of federal housing programs. Read more.
The 100,000 Homes Campaign had a major impact on national efforts to end homelessness, despite its modest size and resources. Community Solutions recruited nearly every major US city to join the Campaign and exceeded its goal of placing 100,000 chronically or vulnerable homeless Americans into permanent housing. Communities that participated in the Campaign reported greater reductions in unsheltered, veterans, and chronic homelessness than non-participants. They also reported that the Campaign brought new energy to their work and helped spur the adoption of Housing First principles. This report describes the campaign, our evaluation methods, and results.
In his March 5, 2015 speech, US Treasury official Michael Stegman made a compelling case for how we can finally move on long term reform of the government-sponsored enterprises, and why it’s important to do so. As an invitation and an outline, this speech was more significant than many realized.
In this brief, we take a closer look at the more than 80 percent plunge in GSE profits from 2013 to 2014 and assess its impact on the GSEs’ political and financial future. In particular, we discuss the likelihood that Freddie Mac will need to take another Treasury draw, concluding that while it is unlikely in the near term the odds will increase over time.
In this brief, we examine data newly released by the GSEs (to support their risk-sharing transactions) to determine the size and scope of the mortgage repurchase problem and to analyze the impact of recent efforts toward clarity on mortgage repurchases. We conclude that there have been three significant impacts which should lead to greater lender certainty: Earlier due diligence, substantial clean-up of legacy loans and greater GSE consistency. This brief also reviews the specific actions taken over the past three years to address this concern.
This report explores the approach to encouraging homeownership practiced by Homewise, a homeownership organization based in New Mexico. Homewise differs from many other homeownership organizations in that it lowers required downpayments and monthly payments, and has a vertically integrated model, from initial inquiry to final financing and post-purchase services. The report describes the Homewise model and presents evidence on the characteristics and outcomes of Homewise clients. Homewise's model suggests that with a carefully structured, vertically integrated system, homeownership can be encouraged in ways that better align risks and incentives for the counselor, borrower, and lender.