Agreement Reached on Housing Finance Reform Bill

Yesterday, the senate announced an agreement on a housing finance reform proposal that would likely wind down Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

The announcement came from Senate Banking Committee Chairman Tim Johnson (D-SD) and Ranking Member Mike Crapo (R-ID) and stems from what they say was a long-standing need for reform.

“There is near unanimous agreement that our current housing finance system is not sustainable in the long-term and reform is necessary to help strengthen and stabilize the economy. This bipartisan effort will provide the market the certainty it needs, while preserving fair and affordable housing throughout the country,” said Chairman Johnson. “Ranking Member Crapo has been a great partner to work with from the start, and I appreciate all of the important contributions Members of the Committee made to this effort. Specifically, I want the thank Senators Warner and Corker for providing us a strong framework to build on. I look forward to moving this effort through committee once Members have had a chance to review our forthcoming legislation.”

“This agreement moves us closer to ending the five-year status quo and beginning the wind down of Fannie and Freddie while protecting taxpayers with strong private capital, building the components for a stable secondary market and avoiding repeating the mistakes of the past,” Crapo said. “Government control of Fannie and Freddie with no private capital to protect taxpayers against losses is unacceptable. Chairman Johnson and a bipartisan coalition of Senators deserve a tremendous amount of credit for making the hard decisions that will move us toward a stronger housing system that provides a balance between providing broad access to mortgages while protecting taxpayers from losses.”

Barry Zigas, director of housing policy for Consumer Federation of America, broke down on his blog some of the main points of the bill and says it appears as if the “new draft has incorporated a number of important new features sought by progressive and consumer groups…”

What do you think of the announcement? Tell us in the comments!

Shelterforce is the only independent, non-academic publication covering the worlds of community development, affordable housing, and neighborhood stabilization.


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