International Housing Association Focuses on Access to Housing Finance

The International Housing Association (IHA) is focusing on ways potential home owners across the world can access housing finance to achieve homeownership, IHA leaders announced during the association’s interim meeting Aug. 27-30 in Taipei, Taiwan.

“Across the world, rates of homeownership vary greatly, and one of the biggest challenges for people in achieving homeownership is access to housing finance,” said Kristin Brookfield, IHA chair and chief executive for industry policy at HIA Australia. “Members of IHA are sharing ways their respective countries handle housing finance to help increase the number of residents who can purchase their own home.”

Members of IHA have developed a report detailing how housing finance is handled in their respective countries as a way to showcase the differences, similarities and the hurdles that the housing industry and home buyers face around the globe. The report offers insights that can assist other countries in evaluating the ways housing finance is provided their citizens.

The report features responses from IHA members from the following countries: Australia, Brazil, Canada, Japan, Malaysia, Nicaragua, Norway, South Africa, Sudan, Taiwan and United States. Top housing finance issues covered in the report include: mortgage availability and timeframes, financing institutions and locations, first-time buyer assistance, outright homeownership, shared equity programs and additional financing.

“We will unveil the full report on Jan. 21, 2020, during the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) International Builders’ Show in Las Vegas as a way to shine the light on this important issue that affects individuals on a global level,” said Brookfield. “We encourage other international housing agencies to look to IHA as a resource for addressing issues impacting their housing industry.”

In addition to the issue of housing finance discussed at the interim meeting, housing affordability was again a key topic members discussed as this continues to impact individuals all over the world.

“IHA members face many shared challenges on how to address housing affordability, including the increased costs of housing production, decreased public funds for housing and increased supply shortage, to name a few,” said Brookfield. “We need to be able to build sufficient housing that both meets the aspirations of our citizens and is compatible with their income.”

The group discussed a variety of potential solutions, and will continue the dialogue of finding ways to address housing affordability.

NAHB serves as the Secretariat of IHA. For more information visit www.internationalhousingassociation.org.

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