MBA’s Stevens: Next President Needs a Housing Policy Director – NMP Skip to main content

MBA’s Stevens: Next President Needs a Housing Policy Director

Phil Hall
Aug 30, 2016
The head of the mortgage industry’s largest trade association is calling on the next occupant of the White House to create a new position that will be responsible for shaping the Executive Branch’s housing policy

The head of the mortgage industry’s largest trade association is calling on the next occupant of the White House to create a new position that will be responsible for shaping the Executive Branch’s housing policy.

In an op-ed column published today in The Hill, Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) President and CEO David H. Stevens (right) noted that the Obama Administration’s response to housing was mostly reactive due to the tumult created by the Great Recession. But with the housing market regaining its strength plus what Stevens dubbed “the safest mortgage lending environment in modern history,” the MBA chief pointed to growing housing policy problems that require a different approach from the presidency.

“The delay in qualified Millennials from entering homeownership is causing an unusual rise in rental costs,” Stevens wrote. “The reasons include tight credit, an inability of consumers to save for a down payment, student loan debt, and a lack of affordable housing stock. And these rising rental costs are having an adverse effect, especially in urban communities.According to the Institute for Research on Poverty and University of Wisconsin-Madison, over the last twenty years, the percentage of Americans dedicating at least half of their income to housing has risen from 42 percent to 52 percent. And almost a quarter, representing over a million families, dedicate over 70 percent of their income to pay rent and keep the lights on.”

Stevens, who served as commissioner of the Federal Housing Administration during the first Obama Administration term, called for a proactive Executive Branch approach to housing policy.

“Undoubtedly, the next administration needs to create incentives through marketing and public messaging, down payment assistance or savings reward programs, tax incentives, or credits for appropriate real estate development,” he continued. “Efforts to expand the development of affordable rental housing needs a firm Administration commitment via the expansion of the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) and public/private partnerships to encourage the development of safe, sustainable, and affordable rental workforce housing.”

Stevens also stated that lenders were “being discouraged from lending to first-time home buyers by unclear rules and overly aggressive and inappropriate enforcement actions by the government agencies”—although he stopped short of openly identifying the regulatory agencies. In advocating for a White House-based director on housing policy, Stevens envisioned a strong leader to take on this new role.

“This individual should report directly to the President and have clear principal level authority to call meetings, drive results, and measure progress,” he said. “He or she will play an indispensable role not just in identifying conflict points, but working with multiple agencies and compelling independent regulators to coordinate policy so as to encourage lenders to lend to qualified borrowers. To untangle and refocus a national effort on housing America’s families will require a President to make a certain and forceful pivot that leaves little doubt about this issue. That pivot cannot happen without a clearly articulated policy and someone empowered to use all the authority of the White House to make it happen.”

Published
Aug 30, 2016
Manufactured Housing: The New Affordable Alternative

While the housing market is grappling with widespread affordability and supply, manufactured homes are gaining ground as a new alternative. 

Industry News
Dec 03, 2021
Angel Oak Home Loans Opens 3 New Branches

Continues expansion in Western U.S. with new branches in California, Nevada & Utah.

Industry News
Dec 02, 2021
Open Mortgage Names New President

Joe Stephenson, formerly of American Advisors Group, to lead daily operations.

Industry News
Dec 01, 2021
Homepoint Expands Refinance Program Offerings

Now offers Freddie Mac’s new refinance option, Refi Possible, making it easier for many homeowners with a Freddie Mac-owned mortgage to reduce their interest rate.

Industry News
Nov 30, 2021
Non-QM Lender Deephaven Hires Business Development VP

Dallas-based Tim Fisher charged with growing Deephaven’s correspondent business In Texas and surrounding states

Industry News
Nov 30, 2021
Biden Reappoints Powell As Federal Reserve Chairman

A signal that The Fed will continue its policies as inflation surges and economic uncertainty spikes due to an emerging variant of the coronavirus. 

Industry News
Nov 29, 2021