Bipartisan commission recommends new systems for housing finance and federal rental assistance reforms


A bipartisan commission of former cabinet secretaries, former senators and other leading housing and economic experts on Tuesday unveiled a new vision for housing policy that aims to further our nation's economic recovery and improve the lives of millions of Americans. The recommendations propose scaling back the government role in the nation's housing finance system and reforming housing assistance programs to better meet the needs of America's most vulnerable households.

The commission is co-chaired by former Senate Majority Leader George J. Mitchell, former Sen. Christopher S. "Kit" Bond, former senator and HUD Secretary Mel Martinez, and former HUD Secretary Henry Cisneros. It includes 17 other individuals from diverse professional and political backgrounds.

The report from the Bipartisan Policy Center's Housing Commission, a grantee of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, titled "Housing America's Future: New Directions for National Policy," proposes a new housing finance system that calls for a far greater role for the private sector, a continued but limited role for the federal government, the elimination of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and reform of the Federal Housing Administration to improve efficiency and avoid crowd-out of private capital. In addition, it calls for reform of federal rental assistance delivery and proposes to shift existing resources to more effectively assist low-income households, and to preserve and expand the Low Income Housing Tax Credit. Read the report and view C-SPAN coverage of the event.

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