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BPC Statement on Trump Administration Housing Reform Proposals

The following is a statement from Andy Winkler, associated director of housing and infrastructure policy at the Bipartisan Policy Center, on the Trump administration’s plans for housing finance reform:

“We applaud Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson, and their respective teams for putting forward concrete ideas to fix our country’s broken housing finance system.

“Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were major players in the financial crisis and continue to be massive, multidimensional cases of the ‘too big to fail’ problem. Despite congressional attempts to pass legislation, they have been in government conservatorship for more than a decade, risking taxpayer losses in another market downturn and increasing the likelihood that Congress must act hastily in another crisis. We share the belief that there are few issues as important to the future of our nation’s economy.

“Importantly, the Trump administration has clearly stated its support for legislation that authorizes an explicit, paid-for federal guarantee on qualifying mortgage-backed securities, while still outlining steps it will take to protect taxpayers and reform the system. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have inherent flaws that require congressional action, but the administration’s leadership is an essential ingredient in finally achieving a reformed system with access to stable, affordable mortgage credit.

“The Bipartisan Policy Center has worked extensively to build bipartisan support for housing finance reform. Many of our Housing Commission’s proposals are reflected in the administration’s vision for federal housing policy. We hope their efforts will reinvigorate debate and encourage lawmakers to prioritize this critically important issue.

“We stand ready to help accomplish housing finance reform in a responsible and bipartisan way.”