Housing Finance Reform

Homeownership has been the most effective step on the ladder into the middle class and to create wealth for most Americans since the 1950s, and continues to fill that role It also fulfills the promise of the Housing Act of 1949 of a “decent home and a suitable living environment for every American family.”

A reformed National Housing Finance Policy supports the Housing Act of 1949’s goals, and will reduce the probability of another Great Recession caused by a lack of effective financial systems for the housing sector of the economy.

Ten years after the Great Recession pushed the economy to the brink of disaster, the nation’s housing market remains far below its potential.

While some steps have been taken to address weaknesses in the mortgage market, there has been no meaningful progress in implementing comprehensive reforms to the housing finance system to ensure that housing credit is available and affordable and is delivered through a sound and competitive system.

Why It Matters

A healthy housing market is a cornerstone of a durable and strong U.S. economy.

Uncertainty in the housing finance system stymies investment, slows the housing economy and presents potential downside risks to the broader economy.

Home building is American manufacturing. The jobs it creates cannot be shipped overseas. Reigniting and supporting home building directly correlates to good-paying American jobs in construction trades, manufacturing, transportation, finance, engineering, architecture and land planning, and many other professions.

Solutions

  • Establish a new secondary market system for conventional mortgages with a federal government backstop for catastrophic circumstances.
  • Restart a fully private mortgage-backed securities market.
  • Continue the role of federal government housing agencies.
  • Enhance the activities of state and regional sources of housing funding.
  • Correct other flaws in the mortgage markets that contributed to the causes of the Great Recession.
  • Resolve excessive unnecessary negative impacts on current credit availability for home buyers.

See the latest on housing finance reform at NAHBNow.

NAHB White Paper on Housing Finance System Reform