Monday, November 15, 2010

NHC Reflects on What's Next for Housing

National Housing Conference will host the second Housing Communications Network forum on Tuesday, November 16 in Washington, DC.

An expert panel comprised of Republicans and Democrats from the campaign world will lead a dynamic and interactive discussion on the many ways housing played out in the midterm elections. They will also offer strategies on messaging in this new era of housing and politics. This is one forum you don’t want to miss!

For more details and to RVSP, click here.

In a lead up to the panel NHC would like to extend our own thoughts on the issue of what's next for housing in this new political landscape:

The critical issue to keep in mind in the next Congress is the need to assist American families through this very difficult economic time which is having a particularly severe impact on housing. The federal government plays an important role in regulating the flow of capital when private capital has retreated from a particular market, such as lending for housing. Now is not the time for partisan politics but instead an opportunity and a challenge to find bipartisan solutions which turn around the tide of foreclosures, the lack of reasonably priced rental housing and to get America back on its feet and the housing market stabilized.

The House of Representatives added 60 Republican seats and changed leadership from Democratic to Republican. The Democratic majority was retained in the Senate with an additional 6 number of seats going to Republicans. With this change, the Administration will need to adjust its approach in order to deal with this critical issue.

Both good and bad, housing is not anticipated to be a priority for the next Congress. Critical issues which need to be addressed in the next Congress include the future and structure of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The private sector alone will not create equitable and timely solutions to the crisis faced by American's every day. Deregulated private capital markets were a significant factor leading up to the crisis we face today. Banks alone cannot and will not provide adequate capital for housing, especially in challenged markets. In many markets, lending of all kinds has virtually dried up. A balanced solution must be pursued.

Other issues to be addressed include funding for critical housing and community development programs which assist in making housing more affordable and accessible (i.e. Section 8, National Housing Trust Fund, and the Sustainable Communities initiative).

A successful Congress will provide leadership and support in the effort to stabilize households and communities, as well as strategies to get all able American's back to work. NHC looks forward to providing forums and leadership which support objective efforts to find a balanced housing policy.

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