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Housing Expert Forum: What statement(s) related to housing would you want to hear in the presidential debates?

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.


QUESTION: What statement(s) related to housing?policy, or otherwise?would you want to hear in the presidential debates?

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For Housing, Government Has Been the Problem, Not the Solution

By Mark Calabria

Rather than appeal to their base or pander to special interests, it would be a rare delight to hear the presidential candidates state the obvious: that America’s housing policies, particularly as they relate to mortgage finance, have been a costly failure. The candidates could do one better and state that this failure has not been from the usual Washington spin of “lack of resources” but from a massive misallocation of resources, directed by various levels of government, that have made America immensely poorer. Only through an honest admission of this failure can either candidate hope to move forward toward helping repair our housing and mortgage markets.

Read the full post here.


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Priorities for 2013: GSE Reform, Financing Options for Distressed Homeowners

By Angela Antonelli

Each of the candidates this election season would do well to keep in mind and publicly acknowledge how heavy the cost of housing weighs on the minds of so many Americans. It is important to remember that for most families the cost of housing is the largest part of their monthly budget. After four years, as many as 30 percent of all residential mortgage holders remain in the following distressed categories:

  1. financially stressed due to unemployment or persistent underemployment;
  2. underwater and tied down because their home values are significantly less than what they owe on their mortgages; and
  3. suffering the devastating financial loss of a home to foreclosure.

One of the first responsibilities of a leader is to define reality. This is the shocking reality we still face today.

Read the full post here.


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Renting is as American as Homeownership

By David A. Smith

I understand fully that reviving the American economy is a critical presidential priority, and that we cannot revive our economy unless we have a viable, healthy housing system. Homes in foreclosure and homes that are worth less than people owe on their mortgages are an enormous, multi-trillion-dollar drag on an economy that needs capital and liquidity to fuel job growth. We must, simply must, bring the homeownership markets into equilibrium or growth.

Read the full post here.


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Access to Homeownership Opportunities is Critical to Economic Recovery and Resiliency

By Jonathan T.M. Reckford

As U.S. housing markets continue to creep toward recovery, it is critically important that our presidential candidates demonstrate an understanding of the root causes of the foreclosure crisis and bring forward policy solutions that will enable homeownership, reduce the stock of vacant homes and ensure the future health and resiliency of neighborhoods. The following are three simple statements that would indicate an understanding of the nature of the problem and its potential solutions.

Read the full post here.


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Policymakers Overlook Programs Aimed at Producing and Preserving Rental Housing

By Michael Bodaken

Tonight, President Obama and Republican nominee Mitt Romney will square off for the first presidential debate. While both candidates will use the debate to highlight key differences in their policy positions, the candidates have one thing in common: the complete absence of rental housing from their respective party’s platform. I am concerned that both candidates fail to recognize the important role that rental housing plays in our nation’s economy.

Read the full post here.


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Candidates Can’t Ignore the Role Housing Plays in Economic Recovery

By Joseph M. Ventrone

Despite improving home sales performance during 2012, neither the housing markets nor the housing finance sector has recovered from the 2008 collapse. The National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) believes there can be no full economic recovery until the housing markets have recovered. It is therefore important that during the presidential debates the candidates address housing-related issues which are central to our national recovery.

Read the full post here.


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Greater Emphasis on Urban Affairs

By Kent Watkins

I would like to hear the following statements from either candidate, to wit:

  1. As we know, many solutions are already on the table for the complex land use/housing/transportation strategies of the next 20 years. The main barrier is the political will to select a holistic cluster after a Presidential Housing Summit involving all the public interest groups, think tanks, associations, academic institutions, and individual thought leaders. I will look to the current national housing commission to convene this summit, provide strategic evidence-based papers to support it in a bipartisan way, and sustain its momentum over the next ten years.

Read the full post here.


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To Boost the Housing Industry, Incentivize Responsible Behavior

By Jimmy Kemp

Neither the President nor Governor Romney has done enough to explain how to fix the housing dilemmas we face today. I believe it is important for these leaders to point out that impeded access to credit for qualified candidates is handicapping the economy. This economy will not fully recover without a housing recovery. Housing is a manufacturing base that cannot be exported and can create millions of jobs. However, without moving forward on real GSE reform and housing finance policy, our recovery will continue to drag. We need leadership and there is a great opportunity for either candidate to demonstrate an understanding of such a common, critical issue with vital importance to our economy.

Read the full post here.


Past Forums

August 2012: What is the role of housing education and counseling in the future housing economy and finance system?

July 2012: Do alternative forms of homeownership, such as shared equity models and rent-to-own programs, present viable alternatives for future homeownership?

June 2012: What are the best options for the millions of single-family homes that may be left behind by Baby Boomers as they age, many of which are in suburban or exurban communities?

May 2012: What can we learn from current or previous efforts to link evidence-based outcomes to policy or program development?

April 2012: What lessons can the U.S. learn from housing programs, policies, or regulatory frameworks in other countries?

March 2012: How can housing policy be responsive to today’s urgent needs and simultaneously address long-term trends?

February 2012: What are some of the key characteristics of a healthy housing system? And how can the success of these features be measured?

January 2012: What should the federal government do to address the inventory of foreclosed properties?

December 2011: What are the most pressing issues in housing policy today?

2012-10-03 00:00:00

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