|The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) called on Congress today to move swiftly to implement comprehensive reforms to the nation’s housing finance system to ensure that housing credit remains readily available and affordable in the future.
Testifying before the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Housing and Insurance, NAHB CEO Jerry Howard said that Congress must focus on fixing the structural flaws inherent in Fannie Mae’s and Freddie Mac’s government charters that led to the breakdown of the housing finance system.
"NAHB calls on Congress to make comprehensive housing finance reform a top priority and pass legislation to ensure the federal government continues to provide a backstop for a reliable and adequate flow of affordable housing credit in all economic and financial conditions," said Howard.
Howard presented lawmakers specific policy proposals covering both single-family and multifamily housing that would:
- Establish a new secondary market system for conventional mortgages with a federal government backstop to maintain stability in catastrophic circumstances;
- Preserve the successful multifamily housing finance framework;
- Provide an equal playing field for small lenders;
- Continue the roles of the federal government housing agencies;
- Restart a fully private mortgage-backed securities market; and
- Enhance the activities of state and regional sources of housing funding.
"Comprehensive legislation is the only way to ensure a stable housing finance system, preserve access to credit and protect taxpayers," Howard said.