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Tuesday, August 06, 2013 03:15 PM

NCRC Statement on President Obama’s Arizona Housing Address

Washington, DC – Today, in reaction to President Obama's speech on housing in Arizona, NCRC President and CEO John Taylor made the following statement:

"We applaud the President for stressing the importance of access to homeownership, affordable rental housing, and responsible lending. But we are very concerned that the President didn't address what is missing from the current legislative proposals on GSE reform. The missing critical ingredient in current proposals before Congress is an affirmative obligation for the market to serve creditworthy low- and moderate-income borrowers with conventional mortgage products. Without that, we will have a bifurcated mortgage system – one that does not treat creditworthy borrowers equally. That is unacceptable and will ultimately undermine the entire mortgage market. We call on the President to make a clear stand that an obligation to provide access to conventional loans for the full spectrum of creditworthy borrowers of all incomes must be a part of GSE reform. We need the President to say more here."

"The Corker-Warner GSE reform bill does not contain any such obligation. That bill incorporates a government guarantee without incorporating a mechanism to promote access to conventional home loans for a broad set of consumers. A government guarantee must exist in tandem with an affirmative obligation to provide access for creditworthy borrowers. Corker-Warner would end the GSE affordable housing goals immediately and would not offer a replacement to ensure the availability of conventional home loans for creditworthy low- and moderate-income, rural and minority borrowers. The Corker-Warner bill, in its current form, would be a disaster for Main Street."

"The President should be commended for bringing much needed attention to critical housing issues, for calling for the confirmation of Mel Watt as Director of Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), and for his continued emphasis on the need for solutions to the housing crisis, such as through Project Rebuild."

See here for NCRC's analysis of the Corker-Warner GSE reform bill.

About the National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC):

The National Community Reinvestment Coalition is an association of more than 600 community-based organizations that promote access to basic banking services, including credit and savings, to create and sustain affordable housing, job development, and vibrant communities for America's working families.