Join us for Small-Dollar Mortgages: Increasing Affordable Housing Options for Lower-Income Households to learn about the benefits of, challenges to, and resources available for originating small-dollar mortgages. Help your community increase affordable housing—and access to homeownership—for low- and moderate-income residents.
Increasing the availability of affordable housing options for lower-income renters is a priority for many communities. With an increase in housing prices and falling supply during the COVID-19 pandemic, the nation’s housing affordability has continued to deteriorate. Rents have increased dramatically in the last year, and lower-income renters struggle to find housing they can afford. Without affordable places to live, lower-income renters—many already overburdened by the cost of housing—often must make trade-offs that jeopardize their health, safety, and well-being.
While there is no shortage of policy solutions for addressing the affordable housing crisis, most of them overlook homeownership. And though there is a need for affordable rental units, renting does not always provide residents with the long-term affordability and security that homeowning could. Contrary to popular belief, owning one’s own home can be more affordable, even for lower-income families, than renting. In fact, it is cheaper to buy a home than it is to rent in two thirds of the country’s counties.
Across the nation, properties costing $100,000 or less would qualify for small-dollar mortgages. In many cases, if a low-income or cost-burdened renter purchased one of these homes, the monthly mortgage payment would be significantly cheaper than a rent payment, allowing the homeowner to build savings and equity and increase housing security.
Tracey Mason, Assistant Vice President and Director, Community Development Outreach and Operations, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland
Kimberly Kreiss, Data Scientist, Federal Reserve Board of Governors
Greg Perelka, Executive Vice President, CHN Housing Capital
Jamie Rice, Managing Director, Single-Family Programs, Kentucky Housing Corporation
Gabe del Rio, President and Chief Executive Officer, Homeownership Council of America
Edward Seiler, Associate Vice President for Housing Economics and Executive Director, Research Institute for Housing America (RIHA)
Moderated by Faith Weekly, Community Development Advisor, Neighborhoods and Housing, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis