Throughout the week, the BPC Housing Commission will highlight news articles 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.
By Vicki Needham
“Edward DeMarco, acting director of the FHFA, has been telling lawmakers that the agency would soon take several concrete steps to help homeowners, including raising the loan-to-value ratio of 125 percent used for determining eligibility for the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP), enabling underwater borrowers with government-backed mortgages to refinance.” Read more here.
By Jon Prior
“Analysts expect results from the changes to the Home Affordable Refinance Program announced Monday to be modest, but the Obama administration said it is working to expand the number of reachable borrowers even further. The Federal Housing Finance Agency removed a series of barriers to help more underwater borrowers with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loans refinance. The agency itself could not give a specific estimate of how many borrowers could be reached but did say the changes could double the 838,000 who already went through the program.” Read more here.
By Jon Prior
“Rep. Scott Garrett (R-N.J.) will unveil his plan this week for a future mortgage market without a government guarantee, according to a congressional aide. Garrett is the chairman of the financial services subcommittee on capital markets and the government-sponsored enterprises. In June, the House Financial Services Committee cleared Garrett’s legislation setting up a framework for funding mortgages through a future covered bond system.” Read more here.
By Molly Ball
“The housing issue, it seems, is a political hot potato — one every candidate can’t wait to toss to the next guy before it burns him up. It’s one of those issues that confounds partisan equations and eludes easy messaging, because voters basically want to hear politicians say two contradictory things. They want the government to act to stem the tide of foreclosures. But they don’t want their money going to help those they see as irresponsible.” Read more here.