Published: June 2013

Despite Senate’s latest attempt, affordable home financing still needed

On June 25, 2013, Sens. Bob Corker (R-TN) and Mark Warner (D-VA) filed a bipartisan bill to restructure the government’s role in the housing finance market. In response, Consumer Action and the Center for American Progress, along with a broad array of housing and civil rights groups, sent a letter to the senators explaining how the bill falls short in serving America’s families.

Consumer Action joins the coalition in applauding Senators Corker and Warner in attempting to reform the current housing finance system to ensure the sustainability of a robust housing market, and ensure future economic opportunities for millions of families and economic growth for the nation as a whole.

The coalition urges Congress to restore balance to the housing market and ensure credit is provided to a broad and diverse population, rather than one in which credit and housing choices are more costly, more limited, and less sustainable, especially for low- and moderate-income households, households of color, and rural households. Without broad access to credit, neither buyers nor sellers can conduct business as they would like, which could once again destabilize the home values that are finally stabilizing.

We are extremely glad to see that the bill includes an explicit government backstop to private capital. We believe such a backstop is necessary to provide ample liquidity in the system and to support the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage. Ultimately, however, the Corker Warner bill fails to place the needs of families at the center of the legislation, focusing instead mainly on lenders and investors.  Placing the goal of access to affordable, sustainable credit at the center of the bill’s purpose will provide the greatest benefit in the long run not only to families but also to lenders and investors, and will also protect taxpayers from future bailouts.

Lead Organization

Center for American Progress (CAP)

Other Organizations

Center for American Progress | Center for Responsible Lending | Conrad Egan, former President and CEO, National Housing Conference | Consumer Action | Consumer Federation of America | The Greenlining Institute | The Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society, University of California-Berkeley | Housing Partnership Network | The Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity, the Ohio State University | The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights | Janneke Ratcliffe, Executive Director, UNC-Chapel Hill Center for Community Capital | Mark Willis, Senior Research Fellow, Furman Center for Real Estate and Urban Policy, New York University | NAACP | National Consumer Law Center (on behalf of its low income clients) | National Council of La Raza | National Fair Housing Alliance | National Housing Conference | National Housing Resource Center | National Housing Trust | National People’s Action | The Opportunity Agenda | PolicyLink | Poverty & Race Research Action Council | Stewards of Affordable Housing for the Future | Woodstock Institute

More Information

For more information, and to read the coalition's recommendations to Congress, please visit CAP's website.

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