Press Releases

Congresswoman Waters Concerned About Future of Homeownership in GSE Reform Proposals

Also Acknowledges Positive Proposals for Servicers, Low-Income Renters as She Commits to Working with Administration & Republicans

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Washington, DC, February 11, 2011 | comments

Washington – Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), the Ranking Member on the Financial Services Subcommittee on Capital Markets and Government Sponsored Enterprises, released the following statement today after the Obama Administration unveiled its plan, “Reforming America’s Housing Finance Market”:

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Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), the Ranking Member on the Financial Services Subcommittee on Capital Markets and Government Sponsored Enterprises, released the following statement today after the Obama Administration unveiled its plan, “Reforming America’s Housing Finance Market”:

“I appreciate that the Administration has presented Congress with a report that at least provides a framework and a starting point for us to begin to fix the housing industry in this country, which we all agree needs reform.

“After reading the proposals, my underlying concern is that they may radically increase the cost of homeownership, and housing in general, over the coming years. As we continue to grapple with high joblessness, a slowly-recovering economy, a tax system that exacerbates income inequality, and uncertainty in the credit markets, I am very concerned about any plan that likely tells the next generation of Americans that many of them will be unable to own a home, even if they are working and otherwise creditworthy.

“The 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage has been the key for millions of Americans to achieve sustainable homeownership for the past 80 years. This safe and stable mortgage product would only be accessible under one of the options. Therefore, I am very concerned about the affordability of housing and access to lending for working, low- and middle-income, and underserved populations. Without safe and sustainable mortgage products as part of a housing finance system that provides affordability and access, prospective homebuyers could be faced with large downpayments, significant closing costs, and high interest rates. We really have to think about the impact of more expensive housing costs on our economy.

“I am pleased to see that the proposal highlights the need for national standards for mortgage servicing and encourages reforming the way servicers have been compensated based on the rush to foreclose – rather than help homeowners through modification or other means. I have repeatedly called for these kinds of reforms.  Likewise, I am happy to see that the plan reiterated the Administration’s support for a dedicated funding mechanism to support the development and preservation of more affordable rental housing for the lowest-income families.  I have been fighting for such dedicated funding for many years, and hope that the Administration throws its full weight behind the future of affordable rental housing.

“I reiterate my commitment to working with my colleagues across the aisle to come up with a plan that brings stability and liquidity to the market, creates access to affordable lending and renting for the American people, creates accountability and transparency for investors and regulators, and ends the creation of institutions that become ‘too big to fail’, which pose a systemic risk to the market and the entire economy.”


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