by Rebecca Cohen, Center for Housing Policy
In the coming years, the U.S. will continue to recover from the current economic downturn and face “seismic” shifts in demographic makeup, wage structure and financial technologies. All of which, according to Former HUD Secretary Henry Cisneros, will shape the work of a new Housing Commission launched today by the Bipartisan Policy Center. The Commission is charged with producing policy recommendations to meet the nation’s housing needs, and working to see those recommendations through to implementation. Secretary Cisneros will serve as one of the four Co-Chairs, and is joined by Senator Kit Bond, Secretary Mel Martinez, and Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell.
During a panel discussion at today’s launch, the Co-Chairs promised to take a “deliberately bipartisan” and “practical” approach, and embrace a wide range of possible issue areas—from the role of the GSEs and the balance between renting and homeownership to the future of Section 8 and other HUD programs and options for creative solutions at the local and state levels. The Co-Chairs focused on the human dimensions of the housing crisis, and emphasized the importance of a forward-looking approach that has real prospects for implementation.
The 18 commissioners will be announced later this year, with a report expected in early 2013. More information is available on the Bipartisan Policy Center’s website, at http://www.bipartisanpolicy.org/projects/housing.