I am a retired Federal Housing Administration director, having served FHA for 20-plus years, 15 of them as director of FHA in Oregon and California offices.
Every FHA person knew that the Nehemiah down payment assistance program was illegal when it began operating (“Popular Down Payment Program in Jeopardy,” Oct. 17). It violated long-standing FHA regulations that were based on sound actuarial data.
FHA is right to eliminate the program, but more than that, FHA must investigate the route the program took to receiving approval, first in Northern California, where the program began, and then to HUD headquarters in Washington, D.C., where someone in authority allowed the program to expand and gave it the air of legitimacy.
The FHA employees who allowed the program to exist were uninformed, did not listen to their underwriting staff or were taken in by the affirmative action veil of this highly profitable program.