The Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs met on February 17 to decide on subcommittee memberships and its agenda for the 112th Congress. Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) will continue to chair the Subcommittee on Housing, Transportation, and Community Development, with Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC) becoming the new ranking Republican member of the subcommittee.
Other subcommittee members are Democrats Jack Reed (RI), Charles Schumer (NY), Daniel Akaka (HI), Sherrod Brown (OH), Jon Tester (MT), Herb Kohl (WI), Jeff Merkley (OR), and Michael Bennet (CO). Other Republican members are Mike Crapo (ID), Bob Corker (TN), Patrick Toomey (PA), Mark Kirk (IL), Jerry Moran (KS), and Roger Wicker (MS).
The Committee’s agenda for the 112th Congress includes housing finance reform and various affordable housing issues. The committee intends to hold hearings, briefings, and meetings on housing finance reform and the government sponsored enterprises, where the following issues will be used as the starting point for these conversations: the continued availability of affordable, 30-year, fixed-rate, pre-payable mortgages; equal access to the secondary market for lenders; equal access for all borrowers and market segments (including rural areas) to the mainstream housing finance system; stable, liquid, and efficient mortgage markets for single family and multifamily housing; and improved mortgage servicing procedures, including for loan modifications.
The Committee may also consider the Section Eight Voucher Reform Act (SEVRA), may conduct hearings and consider legislation on “issues confronting federal rental assistance programs, including the need to preserve or replace affordable public and project-based housing,” will continue its exploration of solutions to addressing housing needs in Indian communities, and expects to continue its work to enact Livable Communities Act legislation.
Link to the Committee’s plan at http://banking.senate.gov/public/_files/021711112thBankingCommitteeAgendaMemo.pdf