Senate Banking Committee Holds Second Hearing on Housing Finance Reform

The Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs held a hearing on July 20 to discuss housing finance reform and maintaining market access for small lenders. This is the Committee’s second hearing on housing finance reform in less than a month, suggesting that the issue is building momentum in the 115th Congress. During the hearing, Committee members and the witness panel focused on how best to preserve and enhance the role that small lenders play in providing access to capital in rural and underserved markets.

Citing data from NLIHC report, The Gap: A Shortage of Affordable Homes, Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV) highlighted the importance of expanding affordable rental opportunities in the context of reform. “In my state of Nevada, there are only 15 affordable and available units for every 100 extremely low income renters,” she said. Ms. Masto emphasized the need to increase funding to the national Housing Trust Fund (HTF) in a housing finance reform package. Recent housing finance reform proposals, like the 2014 Johnson-Crapo legislative proposal, would have increased resources for affordable housing by providing more funding for the HTF, the Capital Magnet Fund, and a new Market Access Fund.