Testimony by BPC Housing Commission Co-Chair Mel Martinez to the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs in Housing

BPC Action believes that while housing is one of the major drivers of the U.S. economy, current federal housing policy is ill-equipped to respond to the many housing challenges facing the U.S. today. We support reforming our broken housing finance system and creating a healthy, stable, and affordable housing market in order to ensure a strong economy and a globally competitive country. The following information is from Bipartisan Policy Center, our 501 (c)(3) affiliate. 

The Housing Commission was launched in October 2011 with the generous financial support of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. Along with Senator Mitchell, former Senator Kit Bond and former HUD Secretary Henry Cisneros have joined me as commission co-chairs. In total, the commission has 21 members from both political parties who bring to the table a wide variety of professional experiences…

Late last month, we issued our report, Housing America’s Future: New Directions for National Policy, that covers topics such as homeownership, affordable rental housing, rural housing, and the housing needs of our nation’s seniors. Today, I am going to highlight the report’s key recommendations on housing finance reform.

Our nation’s system of housing finance is broken. It’s been more than four years since Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were placed under government conservatorship, yet there is still no clear path forward. The commission felt there was an opportunity to fill this policy void and offer a blueprint for a new system that can support both the homeownership and rental markets of the future.