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FHA Now Backing Mortgages for DACA ‘Dreamers’

Immigrants under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program who are legally allowed to work in the U.S. may also now qualify for an FHA loan.

WASHINGTON – The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced that it’s extending FHA mortgage eligibility to immigrants under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. DACA recipients, also known as “Dreamers,” are legally permitted to work in the U.S. – one of the last actions by the Trump Administration before the inauguration of Joe Biden.

DACA status applies to undocumented immigrants who arrived in the U.S. before their 16th birthday and were under the age of 31 when the category was established on June 15, 2012.

The announcement “makes clear DACA status recipients are now eligible to apply for mortgages insured by the Federal Housing Administration,” former HUD Deputy Secretary Brian Montgomery said. “This notification marks the first time since DACA was established in 2012 that DACA status recipients are eligible to apply provided they meet other FHA requirements.”

Prior to HUD’s announcement, non-U.S. citizens without lawful residency in the U.S. were not eligible for FHA-insured mortgages. But the guiding statement was created prior to the creation of the DACA program and sparked controversy for lenders on how to handle mortgages for DACA recipients.

To qualify for an FHA-backed mortgage, borrowers still must also meet several other qualifications, including that the property must be a principal residence and borrowers must be eligible to work in the U.S., with evidence of the Employment Authorization Document.

Source: HUD.gov and “DACA ‘Dreamers’ Given FHA Loan Eligibility,” Mortgage News Daily (Jan. 20, 2021)

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