WASHINGTON (11/8/13)--The Senate Banking Committee Thursday continued its series of hearings on housing finance reform, this time focusing on "Essential Elements to Provide Affordable Options for Housing."
The witness panel featured Hilary O. Shelton, Washington bureau director and senior vice president for policy and advocacy of the NAACP; Rick Judson, chairman, National Association of Home Builders; Dr. Sheila Crowley, president/CEO, National Low Income Housing Coalition; Dr. Douglas Holtz-Eakin, president, American Action Forum; and Ethan Handelman, vice president for policy and advocacy, National Housing Conference.
In broad terms, the witnesses added their voices to the call for necessary reforms to the current housing finance system to ensure equitable access to mortgages in an affordable, safe, and sound way. For instance, Holtz-Eakin of the American Action Forum, called reform "long overdue" and encouraged federal lawmakers to "push (reforms) over the finish line" and enact legislation.
The hearing followed by two days the committee's study of how best to protect small lender access to the secondary mortgage market, at which the Credit Union National Association testified.
Witness Bill Hampel, CUNA chief economist, told the Senate panel that qualifying credit union members need to be able to buy or finance their homes in a stable mortgage market and emphasized that standardization at all steps in the mortgage process is important to credit unions. He also shared CUNA's recommendations for the development of a mutual organization to protect secondary market access. (Use the resource link to read CUNA's complete testimony.)
CUNA also testified in July at the Senate's first hearing of the year on housing finance reform held by the Senate Banking subcommittee on securities, insurance and investment.