A blog in The Hill from David Stevens, president and CEO of the Mortgage Bankers Association, calls for a high-level advisor to the next president on housing policy–with authority to act on the president's behalf to cut through the regulations that are currently making mortgages relatively scarce.
A cautionary note: Recall that the last housing crash had its roots in housing policy at the White House and very much involved mortgages.
Nearly every U.S. Presidential Administration in recent history has viewed housing as a fundamental plank of its core domestic agenda for one clear reason: Access to safe, affordable housing, whether owned or rented, is critical to the economic success of every American. Over our history, home ownership has proven to be a key component of wealth building, and for those who can’t or don’t want to own, having a sufficient supply of rental housing can provide shelter, community and a piece of mind allowing greater chance at upward mobility.
In fact it was President Reagan who said, “Home ownership is an essential part of the American dream [and] fundamental to our way of life.”
But for the past 8 years we have lived with an Administration whose housing policy was informed by the worst recession since the great depression and one that was brought on by a bubble in the domestic housing market. Appropriately, policy makers’ focus was on protecting families in distress, creating rules to prevent a similar collapse, using enforcement as an instrument to hold accountable those who were perceived to have been at fault, and sending a strong signal to all involved that consumer care must be priority.