NAHB today commended Senate Banking Committee Chairman Mike Crapo for developing his housing finance reform proposal and believes it will serve as an important marker to move the debate forward in Congress.
Testifying on this issue before the Senate Banking Committee, NAHB Chairman Greg Ugalde said that an effective housing finance system must address liquidity as well as affordability.
"An essential component of any strategy for housing affordability must be advancing comprehensive housing finance reform which will ensure the capital and liquidity necessary for housing developers, builders, lenders and consumers to access stable financing," said Ugalde.
NAHB believes that Chairman Crapo has put forth a thoughtful outline for housing finance reform that includes essential elements that would achieve these aims.
"In particular, we appreciate the chairman’s continued support for an explicit government backstop for a key portion of the conventional mortgage market," said Ugalde. "We firmly believe this is critical to ensuring the ongoing availability of the 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage, which is essential to affordable homeownership, as well as preserving support for the financing of affordable multifamily properties."
With Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac languishing in conservatorship for the past decade, NAHB has been a strong proponent of comprehensive housing finance reform.
"Having Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac continue in conservatorship with no end in sight contributes to uncertainty regarding mortgage availability and affordability and is therefore both undesirable and unsustainable," said Ugalde.
Given the significant role that housing plays in the economy, Ugalde urged lawmakers to take a long-term, holistic approach to housing finance system reform.
"NAHB also urges Congress to carefully consider the differences between the single-family and multifamily market and not apply solutions to one piece of the market that are not appropriate for the other," he said.