Housing

For qualified applicants, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) offers first-time home buyer loans and assistance in making needed home repairs. Additionally, my office can refer you to local agencies specializing in foreclosure prevention.

The Privacy Act of 1974 requires that Members of Congress and their staff have written authorization before they can obtain information about an individual's case. Therefore, a consent form must be completed before we proceed with your issue.

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Contents

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is the Department of Housing and Urban Development, and what do they do?

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) develops policies and programs to address America's housing needs, improve and develop communities and enforce fair housing laws. HUD's functions fall into six categories:

  • Insuring mortgages for single-family and multi-family dwellings as well as extending loans for home improvement and buying mobile homes
  • Encouraging investment in the mortgage industry through the Government National Mortgage Association
  • Making direct loans for constructing or rehabilitating housing for seniors and invidivuals with disabilites
  • Providing federal housing subsidies for low and moderate-income families
  • Providing community development grants to states and communities
  • Promoting and enforcing fair housing and equal housing opportunities

Q: What are Section 8 Vouchers and how do I recieve one?

Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers allow low-income families and individuals to lease or purchase affordable privately-owned housing. There are several different types of housing vouchers available depending on your circumstances:

Conversion Vouchers aim to help families relocate or find new housing after losing a public housing unit. Conversion Vouchers also assist families living in Section 8 housing in situations where the owner is opting out of their contract, prepaying a HUD-issued mortgage, or is the subject to an enforcement action by HUD.

Family Unification Vouchers aim to help families who have experienced separation or face possible separation from their children due to the lack of adequate housing. Family Unification Vouchers permit families to lease or purchase safe and affordable housing.

Homeownership Vouchers aim to provide financial aid for mortgage payments and other homeownership related expenses to help low-income families purchase homes.

Project Based Vouchers aim to assist property owners rehabilitate or construct housing units for low-income families.  

Tenant Based Vouchers aim to increase affordable housing choices for low-income families. Families with Tenant Based Vouchers select and lease safe and affordable privately-owned rental housing.

Vouchers for People with Disabilities aim to enable families that include an individual with disabilities to apply for affordable housing in developments with established preferences for or are restricted to elderly families.

To determine your eligibility for these voucher programs, please contact your local Public Housing Authority at https://www.hud.gov/offices/pih/pha/contacts/states/wa.cfm

Q: Are there other housing programs?

Yes, HUD offers a number of programs. To learn more, visit https://www.hud.gov or contact your local HUD office:

Seattle Regional HUD Office

Seattle Federal Office Building
909 First Avenue, Suite 200
Seattle, WA 98104-1000

Phone: (206) 220-5101
Email: Customer Service
Fax: (206) 220-5108
TTY: (206) 220-5254

Office Hours: 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday

Map to office

Q: Where can I get housing counseling?

For advice on buying a home, renting, default, foreclosure avoidance, credit issues or reverse mortgages, HUD sponsors housing counseling agencies throughout Washington state to provide free or low cost advice. Visit HUD's website or call (800) 569-4287 to find your local housing counseling agency.

Q: What can I do to avoid foreclosure?

Step 1: If you are in financial trouble, contact your lender as soon as possible. Do not wait for them to contact you. Often lenders will offer options to help individuals experiencing problems making their mortgage payments.

Step 2: Keep thorough records. For example, retain copies of any written correspondence, and if you speak with someone on the phone, write down the representative’s name, time and date of the phone call and details from your conversation.

Step 3: Explore your options and exhaust all resources.

  • The Washington State Housing Finance Commission (WSHFC) helps provide safe, decent and affordable housing to Washington state residents.
  • Washington State’s Foreclosure Mediation program requires lenders to notify homeowners of their risk of foreclosure which inturn gives homeowners the opportunity to seek foreclosure counseling and potential mediation. This program offers Washington homeowners knowledge about federal programs, such as the Home Affordable Refinance Program, while also providing financially responsible ways to terminate mortgages.

    Foreclosure Mediation Program Contact: 1-877-894-4663
  • The Internal Revenue Service has answers to questions on home foreclosure and debt cancellation here.
  • The Office of the Comptroller of Currency provides answers and solutions for customers of national banks. The agency offers information on credit cards, checking accounts, overdraft fees, mortgages, credit reports and how customers can file complaints if they are dissatisfied with a resolution from a national bank.

Q: What can I do if I am looking for even more information on housing resources?

Caseworkers in my office are also happy to assist you in understanding the various programs offered by HUD and the Public Housing Assistance agencies in Washington state. You can contact them here.

Federal Resources

MakingHomeAffordable.gov

The Treasury Department and HUD's  "Making Home Affordable" program is available to help homeowners who are struggling to avoid foreclosure. Contact the Homeowner's HOPE Hotline: (888)-995-4673.

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)

HUD's website lists various resources including housing counseling agencies and free legal aid.

Federal Housing Administration (FHA)

FHA provides mortgage insurance on loans made by FHA-approved lenders throughout the United States and its territories. The FHA website has information on federal assistance programs.

Federal Trade Commission (FTC)

The FTC's Mortgages / Real Estate page has helpful publications and facts for consumers about homes and real estate, and the Real Estate Marketplace Glossary: How to Talk the Talk [PDF] provides definitions of terms often used in the real estate industry.

The Home Mortgage Disclosure Act

The Home Mortgage Disclosure Act of 1975 requires lending institutions to report public loan data. This website provides information about the legislation and its interpretation.

The Department of Veterans Affairs Loan Program

The Department of Veterans Affairs has a website with housing information for veterans.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB)

The CFPB was established by Congress under the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 in order to protect consumers. The CFPB also has a Consumer Response Center, a one-stop for consumers to direct complaints regarding financial institutions.

State Resources