WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Center for Responsible Lending (CRL) Executive Vice President Nikitra Bailey testified before the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs for a hearing entitled ‘Home = Life: The State of Housing in America.’ Linked here are Ms. Bailey’s oral testimony, written testimony, and video of the entire hearing. CRL live-tweeted the hearing.
CRL EVP Nikitra Bailey provided the following opening statement:
While it seems the mortgage market is booming, a closer look at the data reveals a market dominated by refinances that mostly benefits the wealthiest. Typically, refinancing accounts for only one-third of the market, but in 2020, they were over half. Historically low interest rates and the Federal Reserve’s monthly purchases of $40 billion in agency mortgage-backed securities are keeping the market strong. Yet, many hard-working families are unable to secure a rate refinance that would save them a couple hundred dollars per month and that would keep them out of foreclosure and housed as the health pandemic continues.
Given our national crisis and inequitable housing finance system, a new, substantial public investment in homeownership is needed to bring in first-generation homebuyers. The future of the market is now, and its success depends on its ability to serve the 3 million Black and more than 5 million Hispanic mortgage-ready potential homebuyers.
Addressing inequities can create shared prosperity by adding potentially a trillion dollars per year to the economy, generate billions in local revenues, and create thousands of jobs. It will bring us closer to an America as good as her ideals, where the promise of America can reach all our children.
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