MBA Leadership: Conflicting Policies Threaten Housing Market Recovery
“Our roots run deep. In the beginning, we provided credit to farming businesses. We supported a strong food supply during times of war by providing farmers with access to credit,” said E.J. Burke, chairman of the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) during his first address as chair of the 100-year old trade association. “We have facilitated the inspiration of entrepreneurs. We have helped to create economic growth by allowing companies to expand. We have supported and will continue to support community growth by providing families access to the homes where they live.” Celebrating 100 years in existence, the MBA is in the midst of its annual convention in Washington, D.C. This hasn’t stopped Burke or President David H. Stevens from taking a moment to discuss the issues plaguing the housing industry. “So one year ago at this very event, we called for policymakers to step back and reassess the balance that they are striking between managing risk and maintaining access to credit,” Stevens said. “We asked them to coordinate with one another so that their choices fit into a coherent vision for what kind of balance we, as a country, should strike.” Is the MBA a more integral part of the housing recovery one year after making their voice heard throughout the corridors of power in D.C.? “We asked to be part of the solution. Our industry has the expertise to get the real estate finance markets going again. No one knows this business like we do. One year ago, we warned that the victims of all this confusion in Washington would be the very same American families policymakers are trying to protect. One year ago, we called for leadership,” Stevens said. “But our calls have gone unheeded, so I stand here today to say, in the politest way possible—enough is enough. The overcorrection and conflicting policies that continue to come out of Washington are threatening not just this market, but they are threatening the recovery.” Burke also called for an expansion of the MBA’s influence throughout the country, citing the recent housing crisis, but also the expansion of associations throughout history. “Outside the D.C. Beltway,” Burke said. “We still have work to do.” Both Stevens and Burke highlighted the need for new blood in the industry, as well as increased outreach to local organizations and state associations. Stevens highlighted the call for greater impact on the Washington political scene, with greater influence and spread to elected officials, and greater transparency of government organizations like the FHA, FHFA and CFPB. “So today we face a true moment of reckoning—especially when it comes to the housing recovery. Lending volumes have already started to decline, and purchase markets need all the help they can get from a viable lending environment,” Stevens said. Both men assured those in attendance that they will continue to fight for the housing industry and make a strong push to see that the MBA’s agenda is furthered on a government level.” We can only be successful together,” Burke said.