February 15, 2017

Policy Focus: Supporting Renters

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This is part four of a five-part series highlighting Enterprise's key policy areas in 2017.

Senior leadership in Congress and President Trump’s nominee for Treasury Secretary, Steven Mnuchin, have identified housing finance reform as a priority for the 115th Congress. Specifics have not been released, but the legislation will likely build on the PATH Act, which passed the House Financial Services Committee in 2013.

Among other things, the PATH Act would have replaced Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac with a purely private market for mortgage-backed securities without an explicit government backstop; eliminated the National Housing Trust Fund and the Capital Magnet Fund; and made significant changes to the mission and business of the Federal Housing Administration (FHA).

With this in mind, we will continue to support America’s renters in any housing finance reform effort by advocating for:

  • Establishing an explicit, limited and paid-for government guarantee on qualifying single-family and multifamily mortgage-backed securities.
  • Preserving the current multifamily businesses at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac while ensuring that those businesses continue to focus on affordable rental housing.
  • Expanding resources to the National Housing Trust Fund and the Capital Magnet Fund.
  • Ensuring broad access to the mortgage market and sustainable pathways to homeownership for all eligible borrowers, particularly people in low-income urban and rural areas.

Read on to see why protecting these crucial programs is our top priority, and about the many ways they’ve already helped people and communities thrive.

The National Housing Trust Fund

Congress created the Housing Trust Fund in 2008 to to support the construction, preservation and operation of affordable housing for America’s lowest-income families. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development sets the rules for the HTF's implementation, including how it is funded and how that money can be used. 

Statement on Financing for the Housing Trust Fund

and the Capital Magnet Fund

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John Griffith explores the state of the Housing Trust Fund and Capital Magnet Fund under Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac funding, including how they work and their implications for Americans with low income. 

Resource: Projecting Trends in Severely

Cost-Burdened Renters

Resource - Cost Burdened Renter.pngAn analysis by Enterprise Community Partners and the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies, finds that the number of households spending 50 percent or more of their income on rent is expected to rise at least 11 percent from 11.8 million to 13.1 million by 2025. At a time when rents are rising, incomes are stagnating and homeownership rates are declining, the number of renters facing affordability challenges has increased significantly.

Overall, this white paper projects a fairly bleak picture of severe renter burdens across the US for the coming decade. Given these findings, it is critical for policymakers at all levels of government to prioritize the preservation and development of affordable rental housing.

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LinkedIn Pulse - State of Housing: A Growing Insecurity Crisis

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