Eliminating Housing Programs Will Make a Bad Problem Worse

Washington, DC — John Taylor, President & CEO of the National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC) today made this statement on proposals to eliminate housing programs before the House Financial Services’ Subcommittee on Insurance, Housing and Community Opportunity:

“The failure of Congress to mandate foreclosure assistance programs that address the whole magnitude of the crisis is a reason to do more, instead of nothing. foreclosure familyA vacuum of leadership on foreclosures will be filled by these reckless and heartless proposals unless the Administration and the rest of Congress step up, and not continue to penny ante and punt. Only twisted thinking concludes that leaving people to fend for themselves when they are kicked out of their homes is the correct solution to our economic woes. Simply put, it will make a terrible problem even worse. The real cost of these housing programs is in the lost opportunity to expand their scope. Given the fragile state of our economy, we need proposals that solve the problem, not ignore it; if we don’t, I fear we’ll be having this same debate years from now.

Fannie Freddie Plan Must Not Lock Working Families Out Of Homes

Washington, DC — The following is a statement from John Taylor, President & CEO of the National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC), on the Administration’s plan for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac:

“The only measure for the success of this plan is whether or not all creditworthy borrowers have the opportunity to purchase a home. If working class families are locked out of homeownership, and we end up with a housing finance system that serves only the well-heeled, then we will have failed miserably.

“Historically, working class people have had access to private sector capital in order to purchase a home, with guarantees by the government to ensure affordability. The Administration’s plan, by emphasis and omission, suggests that this country’s commitment to ensuring homeownership for working families will be lessened.

Privatization of Fannie & Freddie Dangerous & Reckless Without Adequate Oversight of Wall Street

Ensuring affordable housing for millions of Americans should not be sole responsibility of the government 

Washington, DC — John Taylor, President & CEO, National Community Reinvestment Coalition, made this statement today on Administration and Congressional proposals for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac:”Privatizing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will exacerbate problems in the housing market, not solve them. We must recognize that for 95% of Fannie and Freddie’s history they did a great job in assisting millions of Americans to purchase a home. If they go away, I fear we’ll see two marketplaces — one for the well heeled, and a more costly system of finance for everyone else.

“If the private market will enjoy the benefit of government guarantees, then there must be a strong duty to serve the affordable housing needs of the country. Putting Wall Street in the driver seat without adequate oversight and a commitment to affordable housing would be a mistake. We still don’t have adequate funding and authority for oversight by the SEC and other agencies to ensure that they behave responsibly.

NCRC Announces RFP for Initiative to Empower Older Adults

 Addressing economic insecurity of older adults through regional organizing and advocacy groups

Washington, DC — The National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC), with support from Atlantic Philanthropies, is pleased to announce its 2011 Request for Proposals (RFP) for National Neighbors Silver, an initiative to support and empower older adults nationwide.

As the United States suffers from historically high rates of foreclosure and unemployment, older adults across the nation are not only more numerous than past generations, but also more susceptible to financial insecurity and instability. Many older adults who lost their jobs during the economic crisis have been pushed out of the workforce and into early retirement.

“Many older Americans face new challenges in this economic environment. The sharp reduction in the value of most seniors’ primary asset — their home — means that many are now especially susceptible to financial insecurity. The National Neighbors Silver initiative will support participating regional organizations to directly tackle the root causes of the unique economic challenges faced by America’s older citizens,” said John Taylor, president and CEO of NCRC.

FCIC Report Puts Blame Where It Belongs: On Wall Street & Regulators

 Going Forward, Two Big Lessons Learned: Don’t Put the Fox in the Henhouse, and Regulation Matters

Washington, DC — John Taylor, President and CEO of the National Community Reinvestment Coalition, released this statement today about the Financial GSE picCrisis Inquiry Commission report and proposals to return the government-sponsored entities to the private sector without affordable housing goals:

This report puts the blame where it belongs on Wall Street and the federal regulators who looked the other way. It also puts to rest the myth that making capital available to low or moderate-income borrowers was a cause of the crisis.

While the report may be a day late and a dollar short, the lessons going forward are that regulators need the authority and the resources to stay on top of financial innovations and make sure risk taking does not become reckless. The other very important lesson is that regulation matters when it comes to protecting consumers.  There is an appropriate and necessary federal role in ensuring access to capital and markets for nontraditional borrowers, which is why the affordable housing goals must remain a part of the mission of the government-sponsored entities.

The Hardest Hit Fund Reaches DC Residents via Newly Launched HomeSaver Program

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NCRC’s Housing Counseling Network joins DC program to provide foreclosure prevention counseling to the unemployed

Washington, DC— the National Community Reinvestment Coalition’s Housing Counseling Network (NCRC HCN), a Housing and Urban Development (HUD) certified housing counseling organization, announced that it will provide housing counseling under the District of Columbia Housing Finance Agency’s (DCHFA) HomeSaver program. The DCHFA program will provide foreclosure prevention to an estimated 1,000 unemployed DC homeowners, and is funded by the $1.5 billion dollar Hardest Hit Fund Initiative created by the Obama administration last year.

NCRC Calls For Federal Investigation Into Lenders’

NCRC Calls For Federal Investigation Into Lenders’ Refusal to Make Loans to Working Class Families

Files 22 Complaints With HUD Over Lenders’ Unfair & Discriminatory Policies

WASHINGTON, DC — The National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC) today called on federal agencies and banking regulators to investigate the nation’s largest Federal Housing Administration (FHA) approved lenders for possible violations of federal housing rules by refusing to offer loans to qualified Americans to the FHA policy of a minimum credit score of 580 and above with a 3.5% downpayment.

A recent NCRC investigation found that the majority of top FHA lenders failed to offer applications for federal-guaranteed loans to potentially qualified borrowers with credit scores below 620 or 640, even though FHA guarantees loans with credit scores to 580. These lenders have policies that establish “credit overlays” above the FHA policy, with minimum credit score requirements as high as 640. One-third of all Americans have credit scores under 620.

“Critical to our nation’s economic progress is the ability of homeowners to get quality refinancing, and for homebuyers to reclaim vacant houses by accessing quality mortgage credit, ” said John Taylor, president & CEO of the National Community Reinvestment Coalition.

“The decision by some banks to not follow the FHA’s policy is cutting qualified borrowers off from accessing credit, and in doing so, causing harm to their ability to prosper, build wealth and for our economy to grow. And this decision is arbitrary, because the loans are 100% guaranteed, whether the borrower’s credit score is 580 or 780. That means the loans with lower credit scores don’t pose additional risk to the company, so there’s no legitimate business defense for this across-the-board practice. A lender is only at risk if they fraudulently or improperly originated the loan, against FHA’s underwriting criteria. As is the case across the secondary market, in that situation, the lender can be forced to buy back the bad loan,” said Taylor.

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