FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Clint Blaes
Treasurer Johnson opposes new federal housing policies
New policy penalizes borrowers with good credit, strong down payments
TOPEKA – (May 1, 2023) – Kansas State Treasurer Steven Johnson today urged the Biden administration to reverse course on new federal housing policies, which will add fees to the mortgages of buyers with high credit scores and down payments to subsidize less-qualified borrowers.
In a letter sent today to President Biden and Sandra Thompson, director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, Johnson, along with financial officers from 26 other states, asked for the policies, set to go into effect today, to be repealed.
“For decades, Americans have been told that they will be rewarded for saving their money and building a good credit score,” the group wrote. “This policy turns that time-tested principle upside down.”
The State of Kansas encourages home ownership through a tax-advantaged first-time home buyer savings account. This program allows Kansans to save up to $3,000, or $6,000 for a married couple, per year to a designated first-time home buyer account. Contributions to the account are eligible for a deduction from state income taxes, and the interest earned by the accounts is also exempt from state income taxes.
“We all want to increase home ownership across our great country – that’s a central component of the American Dream,” the group wrote. “And we recognize that there’s a gap in access to credit and that low credit scores are a significant barrier to buying a home. Moreover, federal programs exist to address affordable housing assistance and the new policy does nothing to address the shortage of housing inventory.”
A copy of the letter is available at https://bit.ly/40OHkFL.