Is HUD low-balling homeless numbers?

Nearly 10 years ago, HUD set a goal to end homelessness in the nation. Recent gains in addressing homelessness nationally have lowered the number of our citizens who live in transitional shelter. However, the number is growing again. And, to add fuel to the fire, one university research reports states that HUD may actually be underreporting homeless statistics.

University of Illinois at Chicago report that Illinois hospital visits associated with homelessness have tripled since 2011.

Their findings, which are published in the American Journal of Public Health, also show that beginning in 2016, annual conservative estimates of homelessness using hospital-based data have exceeded similar estimates from HUD.

“The data suggests that homelessness may be increasing, despite official HUD estimates showing a substantial decrease in homelessness,” said Dana Madigan, a doctoral student at UIC and first author of the study. HUD has said that any increase in homelessness is due to growing levels in certain geographic areas, such as California and Oregon.

According to HUD latest report (linked above) there is significant local variation reported from different parts of the country. Twenty-nine states and the District of Columbia reported declines in homelessness between 2018 and 2019, while 21 states reported increases in the number of persons experiencing homelessness. Homelessness in California increased by 21,306 people, or 16.4 percent, which is more than the total national increase of every other state combined.

University of Illinois is not convinced: “Homelessness is an ‘invisible’ condition that is undoubtedly hard to measure, but that doesn’t mean state and federal agencies get a pass on doing a poor job,” said Friedman, UIC associate professor of environmental and occupational health sciences at the School of Public Health. “HUD’s numbers, which are the primary driver of public policy, may be seriously flawed, and this study shows that hospital data, which is available in every state, is a feasible data system to incorporate into estimates of homelessness to improve accuracy.”

New FICO model could impact tens of millions of borrowers

FICO estimates that about 110 million consumers will see a change of fewer than 20 points to their score under the new credit score model, according to CNBC. Overall, roughly 80 million consumers will see a change in score of 20 or more points in either direction, upward or downward, FICO says.

Reporter Megan Leonhardt writes that “Americans who are struggling to pay off their debt could see lower FICO credit scores in their future, especially if they miss payments.” Up NEXT can fact check that by saying anyone who misses payments already will see lower credit scores, but that’s not the extent of the changes.

First off, 110 million is a super-high estimation and likely inflated for an extra wow factor. That’s because new versions of FICO are not widely adopted, especially in the mortgage space. We can’t remember exactly which FICO Fannie and Freddie use, but we’re sure when the new version rolls out, the GSEs won’t update immediately to it. To their credit, CNBC acknowledges this at the end of the article.

So who’s going to be impacted the most? “FICO also plans to flag consumers who sign up for personal loans, which are generally considered more risky since these are unsecured and typically do not require collateral like a car or a house,” Leonhardt states.

#NEXTWINTER20 panelist lands sweet new job

The trade group representing mortgage brokers, the Association of Independent Mortgage Experts, named NEXT Winter panelist Katie Sweeney as executive vice president of strategy. In her new position, Sweeney will work to bolster AIME’s mission to protect and support its members in the independent mortgage broker community and grow the wholesale mortgage broker channel moving forward. 

Sweeney, who has worked in the mortgage industry for four years, most recently served as executive vice president of strategy at ARIVE, where she successfully executed various point of sale and CRM implementations, launched a custom-built wholesale broker portal, and spearheaded the acquisition of lender partners and other B2B associates to provide the wholesale channel with a first-of-its-kind “many-to-one” technology experience.

The mortgage broker market share reached 17% in 2019 and many estimate its trajectory to reach 25% this year, in 2020. Some retail lenders think they can beat ‘em. Others may want to join them by creating wholesale divisions of their own. Sweeney will be on the panel with Amy Mahar, EVP Third Party Originations at  Sierra Pacific Mortgage and they will discuss the explosive growth in mortgage broker lending, as well as the challenges and opportunities for retail and wholesale lenders. 

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