Housing Commission Blog

Jun. 17, 2013

On Monday, June 17, the Bipartisan Policy Center Housing Commission held a symposium on “Housing Finance Reform: Is Inertia Gaining Momentum?” The keynote speaker, Lew Ranieri - considered the “father” of the securitized mortgage market - answered the question by characterizing the status quo as not only unsustainable, but unacceptable! He outlined three reasons for this view: (1) The federal government should not “own” the mortgage market, (2) The current credit box is foreclosing homeownership opportunities for working families across the country, and (3) Tight credit is limiting economic growth.

Jun. 12, 2013

The legendary American inventor Thomas Edison once cautioned, “we shall have no better conditions in the future if we are satisfied with all those which we have at present.” Edison, of course, was warning that complacency, a satisfied acceptance of the status quo, could be the enemy of progress.

Jun. 10, 2013

This post was originally published by the Ripon Society.

A 1996 Wall Street Journal article once described us as the “odd couple” of federal housing policy. While hailing from different backgrounds and holding divergent political views, we remain united -- some 17 years later -- in our belief that ensuring broad access to decent and affordable housing is a goal our country must never abandon. This sentiment has guided the work of the Bipartisan Policy Center’s Housing Commission and is a key principle of the commission’s report, Housing America’s Future: New Directions for National Policy. We are privileged to serve as co-chairs of the commission, along with former Senators George Mitchell and Mel Martinez.

Jun. 5, 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.

May. 30, 2013

Mixed-Use Neighborhoods May Be Safer, Too

By Emily Badger

The Atlantic

"Neighborhoods with a mix of residences, offices and retail outlets are now conventionally thought to have a host of benefits, a departure in thinking from the years of urban planning when cities sought to segregate uses of land, with the houses in one corner of town and the shopping district in another. Mixed-use neighborhoods enable people to walk more, with downstream health benefits. They help cut down on traffic congestion, and therefore pollution. For many people, they create livelier communities and a higher quality of life." Read more here.

May. 29, 2013

Throughout the week, the BPC Housing Commission highlights news items that address critical developments in housing policy. Any views expressed in the content posted on this forum do not necessarily represent the views of the Commission, its co-chairs or the Bipartisan Policy Center.

What We're Reading posts include a compilation of useful links in the Housing Visualized section below. These resources offer the latest economic indicators, expert insight, and statistical trends related to the U.S. housing market.

Housing Visualized

2010 Census l Mapping the Census l Comparing Recessions and Recoveries

Infographic: Rental Housing Market Trends l Housing by the Numbers

Infographic: Household Formation Gap l Who Gains Most From Tax Breaks

Infographic: Housing's Economic Impact l Measuring Economic Mobility

Past Commissions and Reports l Trulia’s Housing Barometer

Credit Conditions l U.S. Housing Summary l Mortgage Data

Changes in Home Prices l Wells Fargo Monthly Economic Outlook

WF Real Estate & Housing Reports l Prices and Inventory by Metro Area

 


The Devastating Impact of Sequestration on the Poor and Vulnerable

By Nan Roman

Huffington Post

"Sequestration comes at a bad time for those who need help to pay the rent. The federal government just this week reported that 8.5 million extremely poor households pay more than half of their income for rent - a number that has gone up 40 percent since 2007. This is not because they are doing anything wrong, but because there are millions fewer low cost housing units than there are households who need them." Read more here.

May. 28, 2013

Throughout the week, the BPC Housing Commission highlights news items that address critical developments in housing policy. Any views expressed in the content posted on this forum do not necessarily represent the views of the Commission, its co-chairs or the Bipartisan Policy Center.

Americans are digging themselves out of mortgage debt

"Home equity in the first quarter rose to $6.7 trillion, the highest level since 2008, as homeowners taking advantage of record-low borrowing costs to refinance their loans brought cash to the table to pay down principal. The 7.3 percent gain was the biggest jump in more than 60 years, according to Federal Reserve data." Read more here.

May. 22, 2013

Throughout the week, the BPC Housing Commission highlights news items that address critical developments in housing policy. Any views expressed in the content posted on this forum do not necessarily represent the views of the Commission, its co-chairs or the Bipartisan Policy Center.

What if everything we’ve been told about the financial crisis is wrong?

By Paul Jackson

HousingWire

"Fed economists Christopher Foote, Kristopher Gerardi, and Paul Willen apparently decided the time has come to try to unplug at least some people from a financial markets version of The Matrix: that is, common knowledge about the financial crisis and associated housing collapse. And their paper makes for gripping reading to anyone who has spent the majority of their professional life in the financial markets. In various turns, the authors end up arguing that much of what we think we know about the financial crisis is, in fact, not actually rooted in fact at all." Read more here.

It would be a mistake to allow positive news to lull us all into a false sense of complacency
May. 14, 2013

It’s the $10 trillion question: “How do we move from the housing finance market of today, where almost all new single-family mortgage originations have some type of government support, to a future market far more reliant on the private provision of mortgage credit?

May. 1, 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.

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