Re: Petition for FHA & Other FHA refusals
From: Diana Carroll (
Date: Fri, 28 Mar 2014 05:03:00 -0700 (PDT)
PS regarding "proof"'s an interesting thing trying to prove that
there's an unwritten policy in an agency that is far from transparent.  It
took activists *years* (decades?) to "prove" that the mortgage industry was
systemically denying mortgages to people of color.  Lots of people were
shouting into the wind about that outrageous reality before anyone took
them seriously...I think it wasn't until the whole subprime mortgage
debacle brought national attention to the situation that people really
started listening.


On Fri, Mar 28, 2014 at 7:58 AM, Diana Carroll <dianaecarroll [at]>wrote:

> I'm one of the main folks in our community that deals with getting
> mortgages for our buyers.  Unfortunately, we have never succeeded in
> getting an FHA mortgage for any of them.  Most Mosaic Commons purchases
> fail their "test" in many regards -- some of our units are deeded
> restricted/affordable, which FHA won't do.  (which is its own aggravating
> issue, since the charter of their loan program is to make housing
> affordable to the exact people that our affordable homes are built for).
> And many of our units over the cost FHA allows, or the buyers are over the
> income limits.
> But we have had a couple buyers who in theory would have qualified, so we
> did look into it.
> In order to get an FHA loan, your association needs to be approved.  It
> used to be you could get a one-off "spot approval" but they removed that
> option a few years ago, so now you need to go through a certification
> process.  FHA approval is not guaranteed, and they aren't required to tell
> you the reason for non-approval.
> I had several illuminating conversations with the Mass Housing Authority
> and other agencies in our area that help with financing for low/moderate
> income buyers -- and a couple indicated "off the record" that FHA had a
> policy of denying applications on which the word "cohousing" appeared.
> We did try to contact FHA directly to ask, but I was never able to
> actually get in contact with someone above the level of "grunt" who just
> said "Apply for approval and let's see what happens". (Downside being:
> process is expensive and time consuming!)
> So...we never went through the expense/trouble of applying.
> So I'm not sure you are going to get certain verification that FHA has a
> policy against cohousing. It might be more instructive to ask on this list
> if anyone HAS gotten FHA approval for their association.
> Diana
> On Thu, Mar 27, 2014 at 11:36 PM, Sharon Villines <
> sharon [at]> wrote:
>> I signed the petition for the woman who can't get a reverse mortgage
>> because FHA considers cohousing not to be a real condo.
>> We have a member who works with a non-profit that tries to influence FHA
>> policies, but questions this report because it alleges something but offers
>> no proof.  Other people have mentioned similar refusals but have nothing in
>> writing.
>> I'm not doubting that this has happened, just asking for some independent
>> verification.
>> Sharon
>> ----
>> Sharon Villines
>> Takoma Village Cohousing, Washington DC
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