Housing Commission Blog

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.

The government’s overwhelming presence in the mortgage market crowds out private capital and places excessive risk on taxpayers
Aug. 23, 2013

After years of bad news about the housing sector, the housing market is slowly recovering. Fewer families are facing the prospect of foreclosure. Investment in new home construction is on the rise and home prices are climbing upward.

Unfortunately, it’s too early to declare victory. Six years after the housing market’s collapse, it is now apparent that current policy, and the institutions that support it, remain outdated and inadequate to meet today’s housing challenges.

The monthly mortgage payment on the median-priced home was just $644 in 2012, the lowest level since 1972
Aug. 5, 2013

If homeownership is more affordable than ever, why is it so tough to get a mortgage? That’s a big question confronting many families who find themselves shut out of the mortgage market and unable to take advantage of today’s record low rates and favorable home prices.

QUESTION: Who are unconventional stakeholders who can help rally support for housing?
Jul. 31, 2013

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.

Have a pressing question you’d like us to consider? Please leave it in the comments section. We encourage you and our expert bloggers to add comments, contributing to the national dialogue on solutions for the future of the housing sector.

Expert bloggers are not members of the BPC Housing Commission. Any views expressed on this forum do not necessarily represent the views of the Housing Commission, its Co-Chairs, or the Bipartisan Policy Center.

HOPE SF: Rallying Support For Housing Through Unexpected Partnerships
By Terri Ludwig

As advocates of affordable housing, partnership needs to be in our DNA.

Advocates can’t solve our nation’s housing problems on their own—nor can governments, nor philanthropists, nor corporations. And we can’t build strong communities just by building homes. For low-income families to have any chance at a better life, housing must be linked to good schools, well paying jobs, quality health care and other opportunities.

Jul. 9, 2013

By Henry Cisneros

The American population is getting older every year. By 2030, there will be nearly 73 million Americans aged 65 or above and nearly nine million who are 85 or older. An overwhelming majority of these seniors will seek to remain in their own homes and communities and “age in place.”