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CRL President Testifies on GSE Reform in Senate Committee Hearing

Wednesday, March 27, 2019
Michael Calhoun

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, Center for Responsible Lending (CRL) President Mike Calhoun testified before the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs for a hearing on “Chairman’s Housing Reform Outline: Part 2.” In his testimony, Calhoun discussed that any reform of the U.S. housing system must ensure access to safe and affordable mortgage loans for all creditworthy borrowers, including low-income borrowers and borrowers of color. Furthermore, any proposed legislation should provide equal treatment for small lenders, including community banks and credit unions that are often are the only sources of mortgage credit in underserved communities across the nation.

Calhoun also highlighted that Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs) Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac must function as utilities with oversight that ensures nationwide mortgage availability, and cautioned that a dramatically new model, such as the multi-guarantor model, would undercut the GSEs’ public mission to provide affordable mortgage credit. A system with multiple guarantors would place the housing market at risk of costly disruption and harm the overall economy.

“Resolution of the GSE conservatorship is important to address the current housing crisis for both homeowners and renters across the county,” said Calhoun in his testimony. “We need the GSEs operating at full capacity to help respond to the affordability struggle that teachers, firefighters, and other working families are experiencing. The current GSE affordable housing programs and duty to serve the full market must be preserved, and substantial additional new efforts are essential. Maintaining the public interest mission and expanding upon it provides an opportunity to address the persistent and growing racial wealth gap that our housing finance system significantly contributed to.”

View Calhoun’s full written testimony.

For more information, or to arrange an interview with a CRL spokesperson on this issue, please contact Vincenza Previte at vincenza.previte@responsiblelending.org.