Housing Commission Blog

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.

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.