June 25, 2018

NAFCU, in letter, calls for comprehensive housing finance reform

housing market"NAFCU and its member credit unions strongly encourage you and the rest of the Administration to work with Congress to develop a comprehensive solution to reforming the housing finance system," wrote NAFCU President and CEO Dan Berger in a letter Friday to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.

Berger sent the letter in response to President Donald Trump's recent proposal, "Reform the Federal Role in Mortgage Financing," which was outlined in the administration's broader agency reorganization plan. In August, Berger and several NAFCU-member credit union leaders met with Mnuchin and reiterated the association's core principles for housing finance reform for inclusion in any final reform measures. NAFCU also met with Treasury Counselor Craig Phillips in January to discuss housing finance reform principles.

In the letter, Berger said "NAFCU supports a strong, competitive housing finance system that provides credit unions with the opportunity to access the secondary mortgage market through Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (GSEs), or other private guarantors, and obtain the liquidity necessary to provide more American families with the opportunity to achieve homeownership." He emphasized the need of a government guarantee, fair pricing, and a strong federal regulator in order to protect American taxpayers.

As Congress and the administration move forward on housing finance reform, Berger suggested using legislative blueprints that already exist as a starting point, or, if a legislative fix is not achieved, convening listening sessions for stakeholders to participate in the development of a concrete plan.

NAFCU has engaged with key lawmakers and agency officials – including Mnuchin, Federal Housing Finance Agency Director Mel Watt, Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson – throughout its efforts to achieve credit unions' housing finance priorities.