December 06, 2023

NAFCU, CUNA detail benefits of CUs in mortgage market ahead of hearing

CapitolNAFCU and CUNA wrote to the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Housing and Insurance ahead of its hearing today on housing affordability to tout credit unions’ work to provide comparatively lower rates on mortgage loans, especially amid “challenging times.”

However, the associations also noted that lower rates offered by credit unions only relate to one aspect of affordability, stating that “government policy can impact affordability as well.”

“We have urged the Federal Housing Financing Agency (FHFA) to examine their policies to improve the affordability of mortgages, such as discounting, or eliminating, guarantee fees for credit unions selling loans to government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) for certain borrowers and the high-quality, low-risk mortgages that credit unions originate,” they added.

While they offered support for the FHFA’s commitment to fostering liquidity in the mortgage markets and ensuring equitable access to the secondary market, NAFCU and CUNA explained that there are “more opportunities available to the GSEs to further close the racial homeownership gap and ensure that government-sponsored programs are benefitting the individuals and communities that most need them.”

“A dialogue on housing affordability also requires looking at what can be done to increase the housing supply and access to it,” concluded the associations. “Credit unions support legislation and policy decisions that would increase the supply of safe, affordable, and reasonably resilient housing, including efforts to make it easier for homebuilders and homebuyers to use manufactured housing to reduce the housing shortage.”

NAFCU will monitor today’s hearing, scheduled for 10 a.m. Eastern, and provide any updates via NAFCU Today. As a leader in housing finance reform efforts, NAFCU will continue to advocate for credit unions' ability to help provide safe, sustainable, and equitable housing for all communities.