Washington, DC – On September 13, dozens of members of the National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC) came to Washington DC for the White House American Economic Competitiveness Forum on Housing. At this forum, over a hundred community advocates came together with administration officials at the White House to discuss solutions to America’s housing crisis.
“This was an encouraging discussion on the necessary steps to address America’s continuing housing crisis. Until we fix the broken housing market, we will not be able to fix our economy,” said NCRC President and CEO John Taylor. “We commend the White House for convening this substantive dialogue with on-the-ground local community leaders on the solutions it will take to bring our communities, the housing market the economy back to full strength.”
“Key to immediate progress is the role of the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) and Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac,” said Taylor. “Because FHFA Acting Director Ed DeMarco has not shown a willingness to work constructively with the administration and on principal reductions, it is imperative to do a recess appointment to fill the FHFA Director position.”
“We are pleased to have this opportunity to come to the White House and share our priorities and ideas for solutions to the problems our communities are facing,” said Neighborhood Housing Services of South Florida President and CEO Arden Shank. “The White House heard firsthand about the need for continued commitment to neighborhood stabilization in South Florida and nationwide. Neighborhood stabilization efforts will need additional support through another round of the Neighborhood Stabilization Program.”
“The forum was a constructive conversation with the White House and administration officials, which we were pleased to be a part of,” said Chicanos Por La Causa President and CEO Edmundo Hidalgo. “We emphasized the critical importance of stabilizing and rebuilding the neighborhoods that have been hit hard by the foreclosure crisis. We need to focus on place-based solutions, recognizing that every community is different.”
“It is positive that the White House is engaging local community advocates on the issue of the housing crisis,” said Nevada Fair Housing Center President and CEO Gail Burks. “To fix this crisis, it is critical to get homeowners into sustainable loans through mortgage modifications and refinances. As long as the serious negative equity problem continues, our economy won’t recover, and homeowners will struggle. If the administration would use the tools that they have available in the tool chest today, that would go a long way.”
“This was an important platform for local community advocates and service providers to voice their priorities to the Administration,” said Empowering and Strengthening Ohio’s People (ESOP) Executive Director Mark Seifert. “We made clear the importance of prioritizing housing counseling and foreclosure prevention in our communities in Ohio and elsewhere.”
“This meeting was a valuable chance to speak directly with the White House about critical housing issues facing communities, particularly communities of color,” said Sarah Ludwig, Co-Director of the Neighborhood Economic Development Advocacy Project (NEDAP). “Our communities and neighborhoods remain in serious distress because of the housing crisis, and we need the administration to commit to tackling these problems comprehensively.”
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.