FHA Now Backing Mixed-Use Projects

A blog about business and economics.
Dec. 3 2012 8:23 AM

FHA Now Backing Mixed-Use Projects

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac weren't the key villains in the financial crisis that some conservatives have made them out to be, but they have been involved in a fair amount of housing policy villainy over the years. One slice of that is that any program designed to subsidize homeownership is likely to promote suburban over urban patterns of residential development. But a particular issue with our framework has been that the residential portions of mixed-use structures were generally ineligible for Federal Housing Administration backing.

Until last week, that is, when the rule was changed.

Advertisement

The need to have rules like this, of course, is one reason to think it might be better for the federal government to get out of the targeted homeownership subsidy business in the first place. But as long as we're going to be in that business, it's much better for the government not to be exclusively promoting one particular type of neighborhood. Multifamily structures with housing over retail are part of almost any classic city all around the world, and it was bizarre to have a decades-long federal policy of specifically steering people away from building new ones.

Matthew Yglesias is the executive editor of Vox and author of The Rent Is Too Damn High.

TODAY IN SLATE

Foreigners

More Than Scottish Pride

Scotland’s referendum isn’t about nationalism. It’s about a system that failed, and a new generation looking to take a chance on itself. 

What Charles Barkley Gets Wrong About Corporal Punishment and Black Culture

Why Greenland’s “Dark Snow” Should Worry You

Three Talented Actresses in Three Terrible New Shows

Why Do Some People See the Virgin Mary in Grilled Cheese?

The science that explains the human need to find meaning in coincidences.

Jurisprudence

Happy Constitution Day!

Too bad it’s almost certainly unconstitutional.

Is It Worth Paying Full Price for the iPhone 6 to Keep Your Unlimited Data Plan? We Crunch the Numbers.

What to Do if You Literally Get a Bug in Your Ear

  News & Politics
Weigel
Sept. 16 2014 7:03 PM Kansas Secretary of State Loses Battle to Protect Senator From Tough Race
  Business
Moneybox
Sept. 16 2014 4:16 PM The iPhone 6 Marks a Fresh Chance for Wireless Carriers to Kill Your Unlimited Data
  Life
The Eye
Sept. 16 2014 12:20 PM These Outdoor Cat Shelters Have More Style Than the Average Home
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 15 2014 3:31 PM My Year As an Abortion Doula
  Slate Plus
Slate Plus Video
Sept. 16 2014 2:06 PM A Farewell From Emily Bazelon The former senior editor talks about her very first Slate pitch and says goodbye to the magazine.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 16 2014 8:43 PM This 17-Minute Tribute to David Fincher Is the Perfect Preparation for Gone Girl
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 16 2014 6:40 PM This iPhone 6 Feature Will Change Weather Forecasting
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Sept. 16 2014 11:46 PM The Scariest Campfire Story More horrifying than bears, snakes, or hook-handed killers.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 15 2014 9:05 PM Giving Up on Goodell How the NFL lost the trust of its most loyal reporters.