Rep. Biggert Announces Subcommittee to Examine Ways to Promote the Private Mortgage Market
Insurance, Housing, and Community Development Subcommittee Chairman Rep. Judy Biggert has announced the Subcommittee will hold a hearing to examine ways to facilitate private sector participation in the mortgage market. The hearing will take place Wednesday, Feb. 16 at 2:00 p.m. in room 2128 Rayburn. “Government intervention in the housing market reached record levels during the financial crisis, resulting in a cost to taxpayers of hundreds of billions of dollars," said Rep. Biggert. "Our aim is to explore how the government may be driving private capital away from housing while impeding market recovery. We’ll also examine options for promoting long-term stability and removing barriers to private investment in the housing market.” The hearing, entitled “Are There Government Barriers to the Housing Recovery?”, will review the state of the housing finance market, benefits of establishing a housing finance market in which private capital is the primary source of financing, and the impediments that are preventing private capital in the mortgage market. Currently, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), Fannie Mae, and Freddie Mac have a combined market share above 90 percent of the mortgage market. As a result of the government holding a great share of the market, private capital has been shut out of the mortgage finance system because of cheap capital and government guarantees that are backing FHA and the government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs). These government guarantees increase the risk to the taxpayer of substantial losses. The witnesses scheduled to testify at the hearing are: Panel I ►David H. Stevens, Assistant Secretary for Housing and Commissioner of the Federal Housing Administration, U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) ►Theodore “Ted” Tozer, President, Government National Mortgage Association (Ginnie Mae) Phyllis Caldwell, Chief, Homeownership Preservation Office, U.S. Department of Treasury Panel II ►Douglas Holtz-Eakin, President, American Action Forum and former director of the Congressional Budget Office from 2003 to 2005 ►Michael A. J. Farrell, Chairman, President & CEO, Annaly Capital Management, Inc. ►Faith Schwartz, Executive Director, HOPE Now ►Julia Gordon, Senior Policy Counsel, Center for Responsible Lending Click on the following link for more information or to view a Webcast of "Are There Government Barriers to the Housing Recovery?"