Washington, D.C. – Today, the National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC) and other leading national organizations sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid calling on him not to give the current Johnson-Crapo housing finance reform legislation a floor vote in the Senate. The letter outlines the groups’ concerns with the bill and warns of the negative impact for first-time buyers and minority, working-class, and rural families if the bill were to become law.
The full letter text and list of signatories is below. NCRC’s statement on the Senate Banking Committee’s vote on the Johnson-Crapo housing finance reform legislation can be found here. Last month, NCRC and over 300 community groups sent a letter to Senate Banking Committee Chairman Tim Johnson and Ranking Member Mike Crapo outlining their concerns with the access provisions in the Johnson-Crapo housing finance reform legislation. NCRC’s recent statements and policy papers on housing finance reform can be found here.
The Honorable Harry Reid
Senate Majority Leader
United States Senate
522 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
Dear Senate Majority Leader Reid,
Together, we represent the millions of hardworking millennial first-time buyers and minority, working-class, and rural families who comprise the majority of the homebuyer market. As their voice, we cannot support a floor vote on S. 1217: The Housing Finance Reform and Taxpayer Protection Act of 2013.
Currently, the bill’s weak system of accountability allows institutions profiting from a government guarantee to ignore the credit needs of the vast majority of creditworthy borrowers. The bill makes homeownership much more expensive for those who can least afford it through inflexible down payment requirements and weak borrower protections in the critical areas of fair and affordable pricing. The bill also damages existing fair housing and lending protections, and includes no meaningful power, beyond incentives, for the regulator to ensure access to capital for all creditworthy homebuyers. All of these issues are major barriers to our organizations’ support.
We know that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac cannot continue in conservatorship indefinitely. However, it is more important to get housing finance reform right than it is to get it done right now. Our communities cannot endorse a proposal that does not adequately address the challenges traditionally faced by underserved borrowers.
Access and fairness are not points of negotiation; they are the tenets of sound housing finance reform. Before you ask the full Senate to vote on S.1217, we respectfully ask that you consider the bill’s impact on underserved communities and the nation’s economy. Housing finance reform should not receive a floor vote until the bill fully addresses access and affordability for the housing market as a whole.
National Community Reinvestment Coalition
Center for Responsible Lending
The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights
National Action Network
National Asian American Coalition
National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals
National Association of Real Estate Brokers
National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference
National Urban League
Rainbow PUSH Coalition
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.