Rep. Royce Advocates for More Private Capital in the Housing Market

WASHINGTON, D.C. – November 19, 2015 – (RealEstateRama) — U.S. Representative Ed Royce (R-Calif.) questioned U.S. Securities and Exchange (SEC) Chair Mary Jo White on the SEC’s actions related to risk-sharing by the GSEs during a House Financial Services Committee hearing entitled “Examining the SEC’s Agenda, Operations, and FY 2017 Budget Request.”

“What we’ve been trying to do, under [Chairman Hensarling’s] leadership, is to take a strong interest in housing finance reform and see how we can move forward the concept of bringing more private sector credit risk-sharing into the GSEs. We’d like to get as many positive things done as we possibly can in this quarter. So Real Estate Investment Trusts are a logical investor in these transactions. We’ve seen the communication from the FHFA that it ‘does not perceive any drawback from greater involvement by REITs in credit risk transfers.’ This is might be an area where sooner rather than later we can move forward additional steps to get more private capital. Could you work with us to clarify that all of these risk transfer deals are viewed as good REIT assets that do not undermine investor protections?” asked Rep. Royce.

“Certainly I’d be happy to work with you on that. I think the staff may be working with you on that, but I’ll make sure that they are,” replied Chair White.

“I think that’d be helpful. I think it’s very clear, as the Federal Housing Finance Agency says in the end of the day, there’s a clear benefit in getting credit risk transfers to get more private capital back in here for this part of this equation. REITs can do this according to them, according to us, we certainly see the benefit to this. When you’re looking at a significant source of private capital like this, it just doesn’t make sense because of regulatory hurdles to prevent that capital from being deployed. We’d appreciate that assistance,” concluded Rep. Royce.

“Absolutely,” said Chair White.

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