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Financial Services Democrats Release Principles on Housing Finance Reform

Financial Services Committee Ranking Member Maxine Waters

House Democrats, led by Financial Services Committee Ranking Member Maxine Waters, released a “set of critical core principles” they believe should be part of legislative efforts to address the future of housing finance reform. Since the beginning of the 113th Congress, Democrats on the Financial Services Committee have held a series of briefings, roundtables, and caucuses on housing finance reform. As a result of this work, Committee Democrats have developed principles to guide their consideration of any housing finance reform proposals.

“Committee Democrats take housing finance reform very seriously,” Ranking Member Waters said. “We are being very methodical in how we approach this immense undertaking to reform a $10 trillion market that makes the dream of homeownership a reality for millions of Americans. These principles are our first step in moving forward on this important issue.”

In the preamble to their principles, Democrats on the House Financial Services Committee write that, “after exploring the issues related to housing finance reform with interested advocates, academics, and industry representatives at a series of working roundtables this year…., (they) have agreed to a set of critical core principles for housing finance reform. We will oppose any legislation that is inconsistent with these principles.”

The principles call for the following:

  • • Maintain the 30-year fixed rate mortgage.
  • • Protect taxpayers.
  • • Provide stability and liquidity.
  • • Prevent disruptions to the U.S. housing market during a transition to a new finance system.
  • • Require transparency and standardization.
  • • Maintain access for all qualified borrowers that can sustain homeownership and serve homeowners of the future.
  • • Ensure access to affordable rental housing.

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