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NHC Commissioned Industry-Wide Taskforce Outlines

Statement by Conrad Egan
President and CEO of the National Housing Conference

 

Washington, DC (September 2, 2009) - "Bold, strong actions are needed to repair the present, broken-down U.S. mortgage market and the soaring rates of home foreclosures. NHC, the nation’s oldest affordable housing advocacy organization, has originated Ten Key Principles that require action by the Administration and Congress. The principles were commissioned by NHC with input from an industry-wide taskforce in order to assess the dire condition of housing finance as well as its potential.

These principles offer straight-forward, desperately needed recommendations focused on the regeneration of the country’s housing finance system. Only by putting these ideas into practice, through innovative yet consistent methods, will decent and affordable homes be ensured for all Americans. In short, they provide recommendations that will affect consumers, banks, and the secondary financing markets, and they address the neglected importance of affordable rental housing to tens of millions of families, including those who are losing their homes to foreclosure.

In particular, the Ten Key Principles urge the federal government to focus on the policies that will help to maintain its critical role in the housing finance system. Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, the Federal Home Loan Banks and the Federal Housing Administration have historically played a central role in providing funding and liquidity for new mortgages. The federal government’s involvement in housing finance is more important than ever as private lenders and mortgage insurance companies continue to tighten their credit standards.

The federal government must also develop policies that protect consumers, require disclosure of lending practices, and offer effective homeownership counseling before and after a home is purchased. And, although homeownership is often called the ‘American dream,’ federal housing policy needs to begin to recognize that families across the nation call rental housing home. As a result, the Ten Key Principles outline the importance of a strong infrastructure in order to support rental housing overall, as well as rental housing for low- to moderate-income families specifically."

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Read NHC’s "Ten Key Principles" Policy Statement.