Housing Finance Reform Debate Continues

Mark-Up of Johnson-Crapo Approaches

Senator Mike CrapoOn Tuesday, April 29, 2014, the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs scheduled to mark up the Johnson-Crapo housing finance reform bill. The National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) has reported on the numerous parties and interest groups that are issuing comments on ways to improve the bill.

On April 16, 2014, the National Council of La Raza (NCLR) and other civil rights organizations held a forum at which HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan spoke.

Secretary Donovan mentioned the rental housing provisions of the bill, referencing the National Housing Trust Fund (NHTF), saying,

“The new system would also generate up to $5 billion a year for housing trust funds that would increase access to homeownership with tools like down payment assistance, as well as help produce affordable rental housing. I know this forum is focused on ownership, but let’s not forget the role that renting plays in our lives. Whether you are a young professional just starting out, or a veteran returning home from overseas, affordable rental housing can serve as an important stepping-stone to homeownership. So these trust funds are key to achieving the larger goal of sustainable homeownership.”

Following the forum, NCLR issued a “Call to Action” to its members.

The National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC) issued a paper with nine recommendations on ways to improve the Johnson-Crapo bill and is circulating a sign-on letter urging changes before the bill goes forward.

The Urban Institute issued a paper with corrections, titled Johnson-Crapo GSE Discussion Draft: A Few Suggestions for Improvement.

NLIHC strongly supports the treatment of the NHTF in the bill, and urges Senators to oppose any amendment that would weaken resources going to the NHTF. On April 4, 2014, NLIHC delivered a letter to Chairman Johnson and Ranking Member Crapo on April 4 thanking them for providing robust funding for the NHTF in their bill.

While the Senate Banking Committee is scheduled to hold its mark-up of the bill on Thursday, April 29, 2014, there is some speculation that the mark-up may be moved back a week to allow more time to negotiate amendments that address stakeholder concerns.

Click here to read more from the National Low Income Housing Coalition. (NLIHC.)

Click here to read Secretary Donovan’s remarks.