FHA at ground zero of ideological battle

Commentary: Watch for legislation aimed at scaling FHA back to irrelevance

There’s a battle getting under way on Capitol Hill that could affect the ability of hundreds of thousands of first-time and moderate-income families to buy a home with a low down payment.

It’s a fight over the nearly 80-year mission of the Federal Housing Administration to support homebuying by people who are otherwise cut out by the conventional marketplace. Their credit doesn’t quite make the grade; they don’t have a lot of cash; and they can’t jump through the underwriting hoops required by the big banks.