WASHINGTON, D.C. – February 26, 2013 – (RealEstateRama) — David H. Stevens, President & CEO of the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), issued the following statement in response to the Bipartisan Policy Center’s Housing Commission (the Commission) report America’s Housing Future: New Directions for National Policy.
“The release of today’s report represents another important step forward in the debate over the future of the government’s role in housing. As the recovery in the housing market and the broader economy continues to gain momentum, it is critical that all stakeholders work together with policymakers to identify positive solutions that will support both owner-occupied and rental housing finance.
“There is widespread agreement that the government’s footprint in housing finance is currently too large. The Commission’s report rightfully highlights the need for a greater role for private capital in bearing credit risk, while also acknowledging the continued desire for a limited government function to ensure sufficient mortgage liquidity for qualified borrowers, particularly in times of market stress.
“We are pleased to see that the Commission’s framework closely follows that of MBA and others who have called for a new secondary mortgage market structure where private capital is placed in the first-loss position, with a federal backstop of mortgage backed securities (MBS) paid for by the entities that issue or insure the MBS. It is important that any secondary market proposal both meet policy objectives, in terms of ensuring secondary market liquidity, and support vibrant, dynamic, and competitive primary and secondary markets for the ultimate benefit of homeowners.
“The Commission also rightfully identifies a number of other issues facing lenders that are causing an overly tight credit environment that limits financing for qualified borrowers, including ‘put-back’ risk and uncertainty in regulatory mortgage rule-making.
“Likewise, the Commission’s report recognizes the important role of a robust rental housing market for the approximately 35 percent of Americans who do not own their own home. MBA shares the Commission’s concerns about the importance of a sufficient supply of multifamily rental housing, particularly for low-income families..
“As we have the opportunity to further digest the Commission’s report, MBA looks forward to working with the Commission to identify and discuss issues where our views may be divergent.”
The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) is the national association representing the real estate finance industry, an industry that employs more than 280,000 people in virtually every community in the country. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., the association works to ensure the continued strength of the nation’s residential and commercial real estate markets; to expand homeownership and extend access to affordable housing to all Americans. MBA promotes fair and ethical lending practices and fosters professional excellence among real estate finance employees through a wide range of educational programs and a variety of publications. Its membership of over 2,200 companies includes all elements of real estate finance: mortgage companies, mortgage brokers, commercial banks, thrifts, Wall Street conduits, life insurance companies and others in the mortgage lending field. For additional information, visit MBA’s Web site: www.mortgagebankers.org.
John Mechem (202) 557-2924