Hensarling-Delaney-Himes Announce Bipartisan Housing Finance Reform Act

Sep 6, 2018
Press Release
Discussion draft creates framework that preserves government guarantee, increases private capital in system, boosts affordability programs

WASHINGTON – House Committee on Financial Services Chairman Jeb Hensarling (TX-5), Congressman John K. Delaney (MD-6) and Congressman Jim Himes (CT-4) released a discussion draft of the Bipartisan Housing Finance Reform Act, a proposal to preserve the fixed-rate 30-year mortgage and multifamily market while protecting American taxpayers from future bailouts. The discussion draft also creates a pathway for a substantial increase in funding for affordable housing solutions.

This draft proposal is a bipartisan effort to restart the much-needed dialogue around housing finance reform. The Hensarling-Delaney-Himes proposal creates a new program through Ginnie Mae that provides borrowers access to conventional home loans and maintains the full faith and credit of the federal government and protects taxpayer investment by requiring necessary private sector capital and accurate pricing of government risk.

The bipartisan discussion draft incorporates numerous elements of the Partnership to Strengthen Homeownership, legislation first filed by Delaney, Himes and former Rep. John Carney (Delaware) in 2014.

A summary of the proposal is available here.

“Today, on the ten-year anniversary of the federal takeover of the failed housing government sponsored enterprises, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, we’re putting forward a bipartisan compromise to rid the toxic mess of systemic risk that consumes the housing market. By repealing the GSEs’ charters, and permanently ending their monopoly, we can preserve much of what is demanded in the current system: liquidity, the TBA market, and the 30-year pre-payable fixed-rate mortgage. Congressman Delaney and Congressman Himes have been thought leaders on this issue for years, and I thank them for working with me to put forward this plan to truly fix our broken housing finance system to protect taxpayers and our economy,” said Chairman Hensarling.

“Ten years after the financial crisis, our housing finance system remains broken. There’s still too much entity risk, not enough affordability, and we haven’t taken comprehensive action to make the system safer for taxpayers long-term. It’s imperative we deliver a solution and this discussion draft is a bipartisan blueprint for how we can substantially increase our investment in affordable housing, make the housing finance system more stable, protect the thirty-year fixed-rate mortgage, and preserve the successful GSE multi-family business,” said Congressman Delaney. “The American Dream really depends upon access to affordable housing and a workable and secure housing finance system. I thank Chairman Hensarling for working with Congressman Himes and me on this draft and I look forward to hearing from stakeholders and constituents so we can continue to move forward on a solution.”

“I’m proud to join Chairman Hensarling and Representative Delaney in promoting this vital piece of reform.  This bipartisan discussion draft ensures that new homeowners will have access to the affordable, predictable financing options they need, makes access to affordable housing a priority, and shields taxpayers and our economy from future housing-related downturns,” said Congressman Himes. “This draft brings together market efficiency in pricing risk with government's ability to provide scale to create a safer, more liquid housing market that preserves access to affordable housing for American families.”