BPC Blog

Today, the Congressional Budget Office released its own estimates of the President’s proposals in his fiscal year 2014 budget, including several health-related measures. One such proposal would reduce subsidies to higher-income Medicare beneficiaries by expanding an existing approach known as income-related premiums, and is projected to save $56.3 billion over the next ten years. Similar proposals have been made by both Republicans and Democrats in Congress, and BPC included such a proposal as part of a comprehensive, integrated approach to improving Medicare.

Welcome to the BPC Housing Commission expert forum! This forum is intended to foster interactive and substantive discussion about pressing housing issues. Each month contributors from different parts of the housing sector will be invited to respond to a discussion topic.

Guest posts are shared regularly with Housing Commissioners to help inform their work.

What should the federal government’s role be in helping prepare consumers to make financial decisions? How can the housing industry help lead the way for better consumer knowledge and protection?

View the full forum here.

My Twitter news feed was recently filled with re-tweets of the following message from students:

"Things I haven’t learned in school

How to pay bills

How to buy a house

How to apply for a loan

But thank God I can graph a scatter plot"

What should the federal government’s role be in helping prepare consumers to make financial decisions? How can the housing industry help lead the way for better consumer knowledge and protection?

View the full forum here.

NeighborWorks America is a strong proponent of housing education and counseling. We believe it has an important role to play in helping prepare consumers to make responsible financial decisions. And, we know that homeownership education and counseling can achieve real impact for new homeowners, as well as for families facing foreclosure. Several recent studies from NeighborWorks America, and others, confirm this. In March 2013, we released an independent evaluation of the NeighborWorks pre-purchase program by researchers Neil Mayer and Ken Temkin using data from the credit report company Experian, which evaluated 75,000 mortgages originated between 2007 and 2009. The study found that borrowers who received homeownership education and counseling from NeighborWorks organizations were one-third less likely to fall 90 days or more behind on their mortgages in the first two years. These results were consistent with a study released in April 2013 by Freddie Mac which showed education and counseling reduced first-time home buyers’ delinquency rate by 28% or more.

What should the federal government’s role be in helping prepare consumers to make financial decisions? How can the housing industry help lead the way for better consumer knowledge and protection?

View the full forum here.

President Obama’s Proposed Fiscal Year (FY) 2014 Budget increased funding for housing counseling with $132 million allocated to the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and NeighborWorks. Housing counseling is a vital step to remedying both the causes and effects of the recent financial crisis of 2007. It is clear that the government has identified consumer financial education as a key policy priority under this administration as well as under President Bush’s administration, but there remains an absence of a coordinated private response in the marketplace.

What should the federal government’s role be in helping prepare consumers to make financial decisions? How can the housing industry help lead the way for better consumer knowledge and protection?

View the full forum here.

An important lesson we have learned from the housing crisis of the past several years is that effective and affordable measures can be taken to increase the likelihood of lower-income families becoming successful homeowners. These measures include:

  • appropriately priced loan products
  • responsive, professional loan servicing
  • high-quality preparatory education and counseling provided to first-time homebuyers

What should the federal government’s role be in helping prepare consumers to make financial decisions? How can the housing industry help lead the way for better consumer knowledge and protection?

View the full forum here.

"In the real estate world, there was one word that used to be the cardinal rule: location, location, location. That was then, before the Great Recession. This is now, and the new cardinal rule of real estate is information, information, information."

– Michelle Singletary, The Washington Post, August 7, 2010.

Buying a home can be a complex process. Homeownership education offers many benefits to consumers, including improving financial health and money management skills and reducing loan delinquencies and defaults. The more information homebuyers and homeowners have, the more prepared they will be for these responsibilities

A monthly roundup of events featuring Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) founders, senior fellows, project leaders and staff.

By Abbey Brandon

Wednesday, June 5

1:00PM

Who: Rob Couch, Member of BPC’s Housing Commission

What: RiskSpan Symposium on the Future of Housing Finance: The event will provide an update on BPC’s report on the future of housing finance. More details here.

Where: New York, NY

This fall, New Jersey voters will need to navigate a confusing calendar of deadlines and voting periods

Elections do not just happen on Election Day. While procedures vary from state to state, every election cycle includes at least the start of absentee voting, the voter registration deadline, the absentee ballot request deadline, Election Day, post-election canvassing and auditing, and the certification of the election.

When multiple elections hit near the same time—as will happen in New Jersey this fall following Governor Chris Christie’s decision to hold an October special election to fill the U.S. Senate seat left vacant following the passing of long time Senator Frank Lautenberg—the result can be a lot of voter confusion and administrative difficulties.

 

The discussion focused on demographics, entitlements, and lessons learned from past legislation

Demarquin Johnson contributed to this post.

Costs and benefits are central to the debate over immigration reform and specifically S. 744, the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act. Last week, the Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) held an event, “The Bottom Line: Exploring the Costs and Benefits of Immigration Reform,” sponsored by Walmart. The balanced expert panel discussed a wide range of issues related to immigration’s costs and benefits for both the government and the wider economy, including the impact on low-wage workers, entitlements and public benefits, and S. 744’s responsiveness to economic needs.

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