Housing Commission Blog

It is possible to inject greater flexibility into the underwriting process without necessarily increasing the risk of default
Apr. 24, 2014

Long-term housing finance reform is essential for removing the uncertainty surrounding mortgage finance. In addition, there are a number of immediate challenges for homebuyers trying to finance a house. Most importantly, it is far too difficult for many qualified people to obtain a mortgage.  

The plan builds on the work of Senators Bob Corker (R-TN) and Mark Warner (D-VA), who helped renew congressional interest in reform last year
Apr. 23, 2014

Achieving housing finance reform received a major boost when Senate Banking Committee Chairman Tim Johnson (D-SD) and ranking member Mike Crapo (R-ID) recently unveiled their long-awaited reform proposal.  

CBO and OMB have widely different perspectives on the appropriate budgetary treatment of the GSEs
Mar. 21, 2014

BPC’s forum on the “Implications of GSE Reform for the Federal Budget and National Debt” provided a primer on how the federal government currently accounts for the conservatorship of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and the budgetary impact of proposals to wind down the two institutions.

Increasingly, investor demands on expiring tax credit partnerships threaten the long-term quality and affordability of housing credit properties
Mar. 11, 2014

Developers of affordable housing properties rely on the Low Income Housing Tax Credit to provide the equity needed to build quality housing that would otherwise be unaffordable to low-income households. 

A year after the release of the BPC Housing Commission report, Co-Chair Henry Cisneros examines priority areas
Feb. 25, 2014

Today marks the first anniversary of the release of the Commission’s report, Housing America’s Future: New Directions for National Policy. As readers of this blog know, our report highlights what we consider the most urgent housing challenges facing our country.

A farm bill provision extended the definition of what constitutes a “rural area” until the 2020 Census
Feb. 20, 2014

Buried in the nearly 950-page Agriculture Act of 2014 – more commonly known as the farm bill – is a provision that is of great importance to the thousands of families who rely on the rural housing programs of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Feb. 10, 2014

The BPC Economic Policy Program hosted a panel discussion on Thursday, January 30 with three prominent economists who shared predictions on the state of the U.S. housing market in 2014. Richard Smith, BPC Housing Commissioner and CEO of Realogy Holdings Corp., moderated the forum.

Feb. 4, 2014

What are the most promising opportunities to promote greater residential energy efficiency? Is there a role for the federal government?

State and Federal Efforts Working Together to Improve Energy Efficiency Investment
By Todd Nedwick

There is growing awareness about the role of energy efficiency investments in fighting poverty. Reducing energy consumption in low-income housing not only lowers utility bills, but helps extend the life of the property by freeing up capital that can be used to address maintenance repair needs or make necessary improvements. Energy efficiency investments also create healthier living environments, which can lower the incidence of asthma, and other ailments that keep children home from school or adults from their jobs.

In 2012, the number of households spending more than 30 percent of their income on rent set a new record
Feb. 3, 2014

Our country is in the midst of a rental affordability crisis that is having a devastating impact on our nation’s most vulnerable families. Many of these families are forced to make the difficult choice of spending less on health care, food, and other basic necessities just to cover their housing costs. With rental demand expected to be strong throughout the remainder of the decade, rents are likely to rise even higher, exacerbating an already difficult, if not impossible, situation.

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.

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