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Congress can’t wait for next crisis to deal with housing finance reform

The Hill 

July 10, 2014, By Senator Mark Warner

 

“I attribute the need for today’s action primarily to the inherent conflict and flawed business model embedded in the GSE structure, and to the ongoing housing correction.” — Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson, announcing the conservatorship of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac,  Sept. 7, 2008.

“I am well aware, and regularly express my belief, that conservatorship should never be viewed as permanent or as a desirable end state and that housing finance reform is necessary. However, Congress and the administration have the important job of deciding on housing finance reform legislation, not FHFA.”  — Federal Housing Finance Agency Director Mel Watt, May 13, 2014.

Six years after the financial crisis and the nationalization of America’s housing finance system, it is time for us to restore long-term certainty to the mortgage markets and work together to prevent a financial crisis caused by the next housing “bubble.”  Elected officials on both sides of the aisle and many industry groups, from homebuilders to mortgage bankers, agree: Congress needs to act, and the time to act is now.

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