Housing Commission Blog

Boosting energy efficiency can improve our quality of life, reduce household costs, and enhance our nation’s energy security
Jan. 10, 2014

It may be hard to believe, but the greenhouse gas emissions of a typical home are double that of the average vehicle. In fact, the energy use associated with our homes accounts for some 21 percent of our nation’s overall energy consumption. That’s why a commitment to improving energy efficiency in housing must be a continued focus of our nation’s policymakers, particularly as the housing market begins to recover.

The homeownership rate for Hispanic households now stands at 47.6 percent, a sharp increase of 1.7 percentage points from last quarter
Jan. 9, 2014

According to the latest figures from the U.S. Census Bureau, the national homeownership rate now stands at 65.3 percent, slightly higher than the rate registered in the second quarter of 2013 but nearly four percentage points lower than the record high rate of 69.2 percent in 2004.

Dec. 23, 2013

What opportunities and challenges will immigration reform pose for future housing demand, housing markets, and/or economic revitalization?

Closing a New Generation Gap
By Lawrence Yun

The rate of home ownership among immigrants is largely a function of how long people have been in the United States. For those in the country less than five years, the homeownership rate is below 20 percent but climbs to almost 80 percent by their 40th year. That means past immigration will help boost current home buying demand and more recent arrivals will assist future demand.

Anticipated legislation from Rep. Waters will elaborate upon Democratic principles articulated earlier this year
Nov. 14, 2013

The forum’s guest of honor, Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA-43), drew attention to her forthcoming bill on housing finance reform and told moderator Ron Brownstein of National Journal that it will be ready soon. She acknowledged the August regional housing forum we held in Dallas, Texas with her counterpart Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX-5) and added that she shares his vision of getting the House and Senate bills to conference. The anticipated legislation from ranking member Waters will elaborate upon the Democratic principles articulated earlier this year, calling for an explicit government guarantee and equal access to the secondary market for lenders of all sizes all in an effort to ensure the 30 year fixed rate mortgage remains an accessible product. 

Nov. 6, 2013

Pamela Hughes Patenaude, director of the BPC Housing Commission, was recently named as a Woman of Influence in HousingWire Magazine. This esteemed group of women was chosen because of their contributions to the U.S. housing economy.

Homeownership alone cannot solve all economic disparities, but it is an effective means of working toward that goal
Nov. 4, 2013

Since the early twentieth century, the goal of homeownership has been almost synonymous with the American Dream. Because of the real and perceived benefits of owning a home, there has been a steady progression of governmental efforts to make this status achievable. Despite the longstanding national policy to encourage homeownership, however, a recent string of reports has presented some troubling news.

Many housing providers deliver health care and other vital support to their residents in “service-enriched” environments
Oct. 28, 2013

With our nation’s health care system entering a period of substantial change as the Affordable Care Act goes into effect, understanding the deep connection between housing and health care has never been more important.

This month marks the 27th anniversary of the federal Low Income Housing Tax Credit program
Oct. 2, 2013

Throughout the program's tenure, what lessons have we learned? What key components continue to make it a successful program?

As the USDA reverts to an old definition, hundreds of communities will be shut out of housing programs
Oct. 1, 2013

It’s a common misconception that housing affordability is a problem that exclusively affects our nation’s urban families. Despite getting most of the attention by policymakers, urban areas do not have a monopoly on housing needs. The truth is that paying for housing is also a continuous struggle for many families in rural America.

The final rule should provide clarity for the mortgage market, promote prudent underwriting, and ensure access to credit
Sep. 11, 2013

Our time in Washington has taught us that the actions of federal regulators can sometimes have unintended and harmful consequences. That’s why we have watched, with particular interest, developments in the “qualified residential mortgage” or QRM rulemaking that is winding its way through a maze of six federal agencies. How this rule is ultimately fashioned will shape the mortgage market for many years to come.