Subcommittee Continues Examination of Sustainable Housing Finance Reform


Washington, DC  – (RealEstateRama) — The Subcommittee on Housing and Insurance held its second hearing on private sector perspectives of sustainable housing finance reform.

“We’re holding this subcommittee hearing today because of the fact that while the most important factor in reforming the housing finance system are homebuyers, it is vitally important that the way we reform the housing finance system allows for a transition that provides certainty to those involved in making the dream of homeownership come true,” said Subcommittee Chairman Sean Duffy (R-WI).

Financial Services Committee

Key Takeaways

  • America deserves a better housing finance system – one that’s designed for homeowners and taxpayers where every American works hard and plays by the rules so that they can have opportunities and make choices to buy a home they can actually afford to keep.
  • America needs a housing policy that is sustainable over time, not one that causes endless boom-bust cycles in real estate that harm our economy.
  • Reforming the housing finance system would ensure equal market access for lenders of all sizes and business models, allowing for more competitive prices to occur.

Topline Quotes from Witnesses

“Nine years have passed since Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (the GSEs) were first placed into conservatorship, and yet their long-term status remains unresolved. The financial crisis exposed the structural conflicts and misaligned incentives in the GSE business model, as well as weaknesses in the regulatory framework that was in place at the time. The result—a breakdown of the secondary mortgage market, $187 billion in taxpayer assistance, and continuing federal support of almost $260 billion— underscores the importance of moving forward with comprehensive reform now.” — David H. Stevens, President and Chief Executive Officer, Mortgage Bankers Association

“Private capital must be encouraged to reenter the mortgage market. However, without reforms, private capital is not incented to compete in today’s market where the federal government backstop and bank portfolios provide a pricing advantage, and where structural and policy uncertainties exist.” — Jerry Howard, Chief Executive Officer, National Association of Home Builders

“The stakes have never been higher for the housing market and the broader economy. Yet, there are sizeable challenges and risks associated with the ongoing conservatorships of the Enterprises. Comprehensive housing finance reform enacted by Congress will help address many of these issues.” — Kevin Brown, Chair, Conventional Financing & Policy Committee, National Association of Realtors

“To avoid market disruption, it is critical that policymakers clearly define the government’s role in a reformed system and the timeline for transition. Without that certainty, private capital providers are likely to limit their exposure to the market, which could cause a serious capital shortfall to rental housing.” — Robert DeWitt, Chairman, the National Multifamily Housing Council

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