Washington—According to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), bipartisan legislation introduced recently by Sens. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) and Mark Warner (D-Va.) is an important first step in moving the dialogue forward on overhauling the government sponsored enterprises (GSEs) Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and the U.S. housing finance system.
“We applaud Sens. Corker and Warner, along with Sens. Jon Tester (D-Mont.), Mike Johanns (R-Neb.), Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.), Dean Heller (R-Nev.), Kay Hagan (D-N.C.) and Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) for crafting comprehensive legislation to reform the mortgage finance system,” said NAHB chairman Rick Judson, a home builder and developer from Charlotte, N.C. “This bill will advance the debate on GSE reform in an earnest manner.”
The Housing Finance Reform and Taxpayer Protection Act of 2013 (S. 1217) contains several elements recommended by NAHB to restructure the nation’s housing finance system, such as retaining a federal backstop while limiting taxpayer exposure.
A stable and reliable housing finance system is vital to a vibrant housing market and sustainable economic recovery. Currently, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the Federal Housing Administration guarantee or insure more than 90% of all home mortgage activity. This is not sustainable or desirable, as NAHB believes the private sector must play a greater role.
“As private lenders gradually re-enter the mortgage market,” said Judson, “it is essential the federal government plays a proper role in backing up the nation’s housing finance system to ensure liquidity and stability for homeownership and rental housing.”
“We look forward to participating in the discussions to reform the mortgage finance system as the bill moves forward,” he concluded.