And there is much work to do for leaders in both parties. Both parties must recognize that the economic recovery that we are all looking for cannot occur without a housing recovery, which will take strong and careful policies to create. Housing solutions have not yet played the necessary central role in the federal response to the financial crisis and economic downturn. Even as home prices are finally beginning to rise again in some places, many other areas still struggle and housing costs outpace incomes for millions of Americans. The Obama Administration in its second term must work with the new Congress to:
- Strengthen our housing finance system, so that there are multiple efficient channels of capital for homeownership and rental homes. Government’s role is essential for ensuring stable and liquid housing finance.
- Rebuild communities damaged by foreclosures, while strengthening the foreclosure prevention policies that limit further aftershocks from the crisis. New federal resources should accompany better effort to coordinate neighborhood stabilization efforts.
- Plan communities for the future, by better aligning housing, transportation, environmental, health, and other policies. We need to build communities where people can live near where they work, access the services and amenities they demand, live healthier, and provide opportunities for people of all incomes living in urban, suburban, and rural America.
- Create a stronger, balanced federal housing policy, that provides essential housing assistance, draws in private capital and entrepreneurship, and provides both homeownership and rental housing opportunities for all in America.
We recognize that our nation faces significant challenges to both strengthen the economy and reduce our deficit. We cannot achieve the needed recovery if vital housing investments are dramatically reduced or eliminated. At NHC our guiding principle is we are all stronger together. Now is the time for members of both parties to recognize this as well. It is time for practical governance to replace partisan division.
We hope that the clear mandate granted by this election encourages Democrats, Republicans, and independents to focus together on the real housing challenges facing the country. With the election behind us, we can be truly stronger together—creating a strong federal housing policy can set us on the path forward to a housing and economic recovery.