Removing Barriers Blog

Senate Banking Holds Housing Finance Hearing
Posted June 29, 2017 by CUNA Advocacy

The Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee met today for a hearing to discuss the principles of housing finance reform.  

During the hearing, there was a strong, and bipartisan, focus on community based lenders like credit unions.  The panelists and many Senators agreed that it is paramount that small lenders and larger lenders alike enjoy equitable access and pricing in the secondary market, regardless of whether they use the cash window or securitize pools of loans themselves.  CUNA is hopeful the Committee will host another hearing in order hear directly from small and community based mortgage lenders like credit unions. 

Other notes of interest 

  • Panelists unanimously affirmed support for continued availability of the 30-year fixed rate mortgage, while recognizing also the need for a variety of mortgage products to suit individual borrower circumstances. 

  • Senator Cotton once again noted problems with PACE lending – with one panelist agreeing PACE loans lack consumer protections and impair lenders’ lien priority. 

In May, the Committee held a hearing with Mel Watt, the Director of the Federal Housing Agency to discuss the status of the housing finance system.  Prior to that hearing, CUNA sent a letter to highlight credit unions’ interest in the current and future structure of the housing finance system.  In addition to the letter, CUNA has been engaged with the Committee on housing finance reform via a number of channels – including Hill meetings and participating in a small lender panel.   

CUNA is encouraged by the reasoned bipartisan debate on housing finance reform that is taking place, and will continue to fight for a system that will ensure credit unions’ access to the secondary market, protect taxpayers from future bailouts and support stability and affordability in the housing market.  As the Committee continues their work, CUNA will continue to push strongly in both the House and Senate to protect the interests of credit unions large and small, rural and urban, during this important debate.