As FHFA Director Mel Watt Testifies Before Congress, NCRC Reaffirms Support for Decision to Fund Housing Trust Fund

Washington, DC – Today, as Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) Director Mel Watt testified before the House Financial Services Committee on FHFA’s recently announced allocation of funds to the National Housing Trust Fund and Capital Magnet Fund, NCRC President and CEO John Taylor reaffirmed NCRC’s support of the decision to capitalize the funds.

“NCRC is very supportive of Director Watt’s move to fund the Housing Trust Fund and Capital Magnet Fund. The Housing Trust Fund is a key tool to help address the growing crisis facing low-income renters, and FHFA is right to ensure that it is funded. This is simply the right thing to do, and good for our economy and all Americans.”

“We’re facing the worst rental affordability crisis in our nation’s history. According to the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University, over 20 million renters (almost 50 percent of renting households) across the nation are cost-burdened. For extremely low income households, that number rises to 80 percent, with over seven million households spending half of their income on rent. The crisis is being driven by a dramatic reduction in the homeownership rate caused by the foreclosure crisis, rising rental costs and stagnant or falling renter wages, as well as the fact that many potential first time homebuyers are blocked from becoming homeowners because of an overly restrictive credit box. The steps that FHFA is taking to address these issues are necessary and in keeping with the public purpose of the government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) to meet the housing needs of our communities.”

In December of 2014, NCRC applauded Watt’s decision to fund the National Housing Trust Fund and Capital Magnet Fund. In October of 2014, NCRC called upon FHFA to strengthen its proposed affordable housing goals. NCRC has long called on FHFA to capitalize the Housing Trust Fund.

About the National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC): The National Community Reinvestment Coalition is an association of more than 600 community-based organizations that promote access to basic banking services, including credit and savings, to create and sustain affordable housing, job development, and vibrant communities for America’s working families.

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Redlining and Neighborhood Health

Before the pandemic devastated minority communities, banks and government officials starved them of capital.

Lower-income and minority neighborhoods that were intentionally cut off from lending and investment decades ago today suffer not only from reduced wealth and greater poverty, but from lower life expectancy and higher prevalence of chronic diseases that are risk factors for poor outcomes from COVID-19, a new study shows.

The new study, from the National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC) with researchers from the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee Joseph J. Zilber School of Public Health and the University of Richmond’s Digital Scholarship Lab, compared 1930’s maps of government-sanctioned lending discrimination zones with current census and public health data.

Table of Content

  • Executive Summary
  • Introduction
  • Redlining, the HOLC Maps and Segregation
  • Segregation, Public Health and COVID-19
  • Methods
  • Results
  • Discussion
  • Conclusion and Policy Recommendations
  • Citations
  • Appendix

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