Removal of the Equal Employment Opportunity; Policy, Procedures and Programs Regulation
To increase the effectiveness of its Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) program and streamline HUD's regulations, HUD has decided to remove 24 CFR part 7 (HUD's EEO regulation), while continuing to publish its EEO policy and procedures as administrative guidance. This action is necessary because HUD's EEO regulation has been superseded by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) regulation at 29 CFR part 1614 (EEOC's regulation) and therefore does not establish binding requirements. In addition, HUD's EEO regulation was intended to conform to and mirror EEOC's regulation. As EEOC's regulation has been revised, HUD's EEO regulation has become outdated and may create confusion for parties having to reconcile differing HUD and EEOC regulations. By consolidating its EEO policy and procedures in administrative guidance, HUD can more effectively incorporate amendments to EEOC's regulation, highlight HUD-specific guidance, and simplify the procedures for parties seeking to exercise their EEO rights.
Federal Housing Administration (FHA): Strengthening the Home Equity Conversion Mortgage Program
This rule proposes to codify several significant changes to FHA's Home Equity Conversion Mortgage program that were previously issued under the authority granted to HUD in the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 and the Reverse Mortgage Stabilization Act of 2013, and to make additional regulatory changes. The Home Equity Conversion Mortgage program is FHA's reverse mortgage program that enables seniors who have equity in their homes to withdraw a portion of the accumulated equity. The intent of the Home Equity Conversion Mortgage program is to ease the financial burden on elderly homeowners facing increased health, housing, and subsistence costs at a time of reduced income. FHA's mission is to serve underserved markets, which must be balanced with HUD's inherent, as well as, statutory obligation under the National Housing Act to protect the FHA insurance funds. The impacts of the recent financial crisis, including a decline in property values, shrinking retirement accounts, and changing borrower demographics placed seniors with Home Equity Conversion Mortgages at an increased risk of losing their homes due to their inability to make tax and insurance payments. During this time, the FHA HECM program was the only reverse mortgage program available for seniors. The above referenced economic and market factors, combined with certain program features, resulted in increased risk to the Mutual Mortgage Insurance Fund (MMIF). This rulemaking strengthens the FHA HECM program and codifies changes made under the Reverse Mortgage Stabilization Act of 2013 that reduce risk to the MMIF and increase the sustainability of this important program for seniors.