Affordable Housing and the Financial Crisis

It’s been interesting to watch the conservative conga line blame the affordable housing expansion effort for the country’s current financial crisis.

But, as writers on Rooflines displayed when community organizing fell under attack at the Republican National Convention, what’s equally impressive is how quickly people come to defend the cause they fight for. has released a comprehensive list of “Myths and falsehoods about the purported link between affordable housing initiatives and the financial crisis.” Myths include, for example, the notion that the 1977 Community Reinvestment Act forced lenders into irresponsible lending, or that excessive lending to undocumented immigrants is responsible for the financial crisis, or even that Congressional Democrats, led by Barney Frank, opposed strengthening oversight over Fannie and Freddie.

The report goes on to discuss Barack Obama’s ties to Fannie and Freddie, as compared to John McCain’s, as well as, in regard to the widely reported notion that ACORN was to benefit from the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act:

[N]either the draft proposal nor the final version of the bill contained any language mentioning ACORN. Those making the false claim were misrepresenting a provision — since removed — that would have directed 20 percent of any profits realized on troubled assets purchased under the plan into two previously established funds: the Housing Trust Fund and the Capital Magnet Fund, which, under the law authorizing them, distribute funds through state block grants and through competitive application processes, respectively.

It’s a good read. Check it out here

Matthew Brian Hersh served as senior editor at Shelterforce from March 2008 to October 2012. He studied English at Rutgers University and has spent his professional career in journalism, policy, and politics.


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