State Loan Limits Draw Federal Doubt
Scheets, Gary, The Washington Times (Washington, DC)
Several federal agencies are questioning the legality of the Virginia Housing Development Authority's decision to deny low-interest home loans to unmarried couples, including homosexuals.
The state director of the federal Rural Economic and Community Development Service, formerly the Farmers Home Administration, said it will likely stop guaranteeing the housing authority's loans if it finds that the policy violates federal laws.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Federal Trade Commission and the Federal Reserve Board are checking whether the VHDA's lending rules comply with federal regulations.
The housing authority's board of commissioners voted Jan. 23 to return to a policy in effect from 1981 to 1994 of making loans only to people related by blood, marriage or adoption. Those rules were changed in June 1994 to allow borrowing by unrelated couples.
Lloyd A. Jones, state director for the Rural Economic and Community Development Service, wrote the housing authority's commissioners recently, expressing concern that the new regulations violate the Fair Housing Act of 1988, the Equal Credit Opportunity Act and various civil rights laws. …