Premiums for mortgage insurance policies required for some FHA-backed multifamily housing developments will stay at current 2006 levels, HUD has announced.

The National Association of Home Builders today lauded the decision as a “victory for affordable housing,” saying an increase in mortgage insurance premiums would have increased the cost of building rental housing.

“Builders rely on this (FHA) financing method to produce affordable multifamily housing for working families,” said NAHB President David Pressly in a press release. “We’re delighted that HUD has made this decision and believe it is the right decision to ensure that builders can meet the affordable housing needs of thousands of families.”

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development had proposed increasing premiums on mortgage insurance for newly constructed rental housing to 77 basis points, up from from 45 basis points.

HUD reported receiving 359 public comments on the proposed increases — mostly form letters — including a letter signed by 147 members of Congress who were opposed to the premium increases.

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