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Opinion

November 16. 2012 9:40PM

FHA tries to stave off bailout

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Federal Housing Administration, facing a $16.3 billion deficit, will increase mortgage fees next year and take other steps in an effort to avoid a taxpayer bailout, the Obama administration said on Friday.

The agency, a primary source of funding for first-time home buyers and those with modest incomes, said it would raise the premiums it charges on loans it guarantees by 10 basis points, adding, on average, about $13 per month to a borrower's cost.

A basis point is one-hundredth of a percentage point.

Housing officials would not say whether the steps would be enough to keep the agency from turning to the Treasury Department for a cash infusion. "I'm not going to place bets," FHA Acting Commissioner Carol Galante told reporters.

An independent audit delivered to Congress on Friday showed the FHA had depleted the capital it would need to cover expected losses on the $1.1 trillion in mortgages it backs. It said the losses would leave the agency $16.3 billion in the red.

The FHA's troubles stem from rising defaults on mortgages it guaranteed from 2007-2009 as the housing bubble was deflating. As private capital dried up during the bust, the FHA's role grew. It now insures about 1.2 million loans, or about 15 percent of all U.S. home loans, up from 5 percent in 2006.

Galante emphasized that the White House's annual budget proposal in February would be instrumental in determining whether the agency would need taxpayer funds by the time its fiscal year expires on Sept. 30.

Any final determination would not be made until September.




Real Estate

Originally deisgned as a 100-foot tall building, The Surf has been pared down to 70 feet,and realtors are already selling the projects 36 residential units that start at $239,000 and run up to about $500,000.

Some are critical of recent construction at Hampton Beach

As part of the process to build a new police station and a municipal parking garage, workers from Burke's Tree Service in Rochester removed trees from around the existing lot on Orchard Street in Dover Thursday. Further tree removal is planned to affect parking in the lot Friday.

Work begins on Dover police station, garage

Additional housing for Londonderry's seniors may be out of their price range

Manchester inventor Dean Kamen listens Thursday to presentations at the

UNH-Manchester, Kamen team up in move to Pandora building

The restaurant building at 216 South River Road, which formerly housed a Bugaboo Creek Steakhouse, will become the second location of Center Harbor-based Canoe Restaurant and Tavern by the holiday season, according to owner Scott Ouellette.

Former chain steakhouse is getting a local makeover

Home & Garden

After learning embroidery as a child, Rhonda Besaw of Whitefield began doing beadwork in 1996, which opened her eyes to the rich handcraft traditions of her ancestors.

Whitefield artist's beadwork is a tribute to her Native American ancestry

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Rhonda Besaw specializes in traditional and contemporary Wabanaki beadwork.

Bedford Planning Board tables Wayfarer approvals again, citing traffic issues

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After being tabled by the Planning Board in August, two final approvals for the proposed John Goffe Plaza on the site of the former Wayfarer Inn were delayed once more by the board at their Monday...

Salem senior housing project could require encroachment into wetlands buffer zone

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The Conservation Commission is looking for more information on where a detention basin can be built on a proposed 16-unit senior housing project off Pleasant Street before it considers granting a...

Salem mausoleum owner looks to develop housing on site

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The owner of a mausoleum at 23 Pond Road is looking to develop senior housing on the 18-acre property.

Rosaly Bass moved to New Hampshire with her husband, Perkins, in 1973 and immediately started gardening.

Rosaly Bass' Peterborough kitchen garden grew to a certified organic 25-acre farm

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It starts with a plot of dirt and hope. For 77-year-old Rosaly Bass, that hope took her from a quarter-acre kitchen garden to a 25-acre career and two books.

Some remnants of the Wayfarer Inn, including the footbridge, will be removed by TFMoran in the renovation process. Others, like the mill building, will remain.

Proposed development on Wayfarer site gets green light from conservation group

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The new John Goffe Plaza, a mixed-use development being built on the site of the former Wayfarer Inn and future home of the Bedford Whole Foods Market, is one step closer to fruition after receiving...

The Salem Planning Board recently approved the site plan for a botanical garden at a former miniature golf course on North Broadway.

Former mini-golf course to transform into botanical gardens

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Salem gets more than its share of retail stores and restaurants approved by the Planning Board along Rte. 28, but the latest plan approved for 350 North Broadway should bring more than a touch of...

Kathy Zorawicz's driveway had to be torn out due to water damage. She successfully appealed a driveway permit waiver fee via the Goffstown Board of Selectmen.

Goffstown resident obtains driveway permit waiver, but still questions practice

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Resident Kathy Zorawowicz was unpleasantly surprised when she learned that she would have to pay a $100 permit fee to repave her driveway, due to damage she claims is the town's fault. While she...

Windham Estates to get more fire hydrants

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As part of a long-overdue water line replacement, the Windham neighborhood will get nine more fire hydrants. Right now there is only one hydrant servicing Windham Estates.

Community garden in Salem busts out all over, causing concern

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It has been a great growing season at the town's community gardens at Hawkins Farm, in fact, maybe a little too good for some gardeners who have been expanding their plots more than is allowed.