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As Lawmakers Debate GSE Reform, NAA/NMHC Highlight Multifamily Principles

Debate GSE Reform

GSE reform has emerged as one of the most significant, and difficult, policy issues lawmakers are debating in 2018. Since the GSEs were put into conservatorship almost 10 years ago, housing finance reform has been an ongoing debate. But, efforts to reform the housing system have not been successful, although renewed reform efforts are happening on a number of fronts. 

The Trump administration, Chairmen Crapo (R-ID) and Hensarling (R-TX) have listed housing finance reform as a top priority. Senators Mark Warner (D-VA) and Bob Corker (R-TN) are working to craft a bipartisan proposal that they hope will serve as the basis of the proposal that Chairman Crapo would consider.   In sharp contrast to his previous legislative proposal, Hensarling has conceded that any reform effort will have to include some type of government guarantee and is working to craft a new housing finance reform proposal. Federal Housing Finance Agency Director Mel Watt recently weighed in when he sent a document to Senate Banking Committee Chairman Crapo (R-ID) and Ranking Member Sherrod Brown (D-OH) that describes the FHFA’s views about housing finance reform.

NAA/NMHC continue our multi-year strategy aimed at educating lawmakers and stakeholders on the unique characteristics of the multifamily industry. In November 2017 GID’s Bob DeWitt testified before the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Housing and Insurance to stress the importance of maintaining access to an explicit, paid-for federal guarantee for multifamily-backed mortgage securities. As Congress seeks to address the problems largely specific to the single-family market, NAA/NMHC continue to press for a “do no harm” to the multifamily market approach. We are working closely with the key policymakers who are involved in drafting a specific proposal and are providing detailed comments and feedback on issues important to the multifamily industry.  

Most political pundits do not believe Congress will be able to complete action on a reform package this year, but the Administration and Congressional members are hoping that significant progress can be made that will set the stage for success in 2019. For this reason, it is important that NAA/NMHC stay engaged and provide feedback on the various proposals being considered.    

More on NAA/NMHC’s efforts on housing finance reform can be found here.