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About Us

We're one of the largest mortgage insurers in the world. Since 1934, we've insured almost 50 million mortgages throughout the U.S.

Our Role

At the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), we provide mortgage insurance on loans made by FHA-approved lenders. We insure mortgages on single family homes, multifamily properties, residential care facilities, and hospitals. These mortgages are made by lenders throughout the United States and its territories.

What We Do

FHA mortgage insurance protects lenders against losses. If a property owner defaults on their mortgage, we'll pay a claim to the lender for the unpaid principal balance. Because lenders take on less risk, they are able to offer more mortgages to homebuyers.

To qualify for insurance, loans must meet certain requirements.

How We're Funded

FHA is the only government agency that primarily operates from its self-generated income.

We collect mortgage insurance premiums from borrowers via lenders. We use this income to operate our mortgage insurance programs for the benefit of homebuyers, renters, and communities.

Our History

Congress created FHA in 1934. At the time, the housing industry was flat on its back:

  • 2 million construction workers had lost their jobs.
  • Terms were difficult to meet for homebuyers seeking mortgages.
  • Mortgage loan terms were limited to 50 percent of the property's market value. This included a repayment schedule spread over three to five years and ending with a balloon payment.
  • America was mostly a nation of renters. Only 1 in 10 households owned homes.

FHA became a part of the Department of Housing and Urban Development's (HUD) Office of Housing in 1965.

Timeline Timeline
  • Congress created FHA in 1934.
  • During the 1940s, FHA helped veterans and their families after World War II. FHA programs financed military housing and homes.
  • In the 1950s, 60s and 70s, FHA helped spark the production of millions of units of privately-owned apartments for elderly, handicapped and lower income Americans.
  • In the 1970s, soaring inflation and energy costs put thousands of private apartment buildings at risk. FHA's emergency financing kept these cash-strapped properties afloat.
  • In the early 1980s, a recession caused private mortgage insurers to pull out of oil producing states. FHA stepped in to steady falling home prices and help potential homebuyers to get the financing they needed.
  • The nation's homeownership rate had soared to an all-time high of 68.1 percent as of the third quarter of 2001.
  • During the “Great Recession” of 2008-2013, FHA played an important countercyclical role to prop up the housing market. FHA supplied access to mortgage credit when other sources of financing and capital markets had seized up.
  • FHA actively insures:
    • Over 8 million single family mortgages;
    • Almost 12,000 mortgages for multifamily properties;
    • Over 3,700 mortgages for residential care facilities
    • Almost 100 mortgages for hospital facilities.
    • The combined unpaid principal balance in FHA's insurance portfolio is over $1.3 trillion.