While homeownership is the cornerstone of the America dream, the new U.S. Department of Housing And Urban Development Secretary, Julián Castro, noted that due to market conditions, this isn’t as possible as it used to be.
“Unfortunately, that dream is out of reach for far too many Americans,” Castro said at the second annual 2014 Ginnie Mae Summit Monday morning in Arlington, Virginia.
Castro indicated that while the mortgage finance industry would not return to the days of fast and easy lending, the credit pendulum has swung too far in the opposite direction.
And there, it remains.
Castro's comments can be proved with this one chart showing mortgage credit availability is flatlined. And recently, the Mortgage Bankers Association reported mortgage credit availability dropped in August.
And even further to his point, Castro asked the crowd, “How do we achieve a balance? How do we keep the lessons that we learned the past few years, but also that the people who can get a loan are able to do that?”
Castro called on the housing industry “to work together to see a robust, healthy housing market where those who are ready can buy a home. Our nation is making progress across the board, and HUD is focused on ensuring these opportunities reach every American.”
Ginnie Mae, for its part as the only issuer of government-guaranteed mortgage securities, announced five new initiatives to help directly tackle this issue.
- “An Era of Transformation” – This position paper outlines the company’s perspective on the major issues presented by the ongoing transformation in mortgage lending as a result of the 2007-2008 financial crises.
- Net Worth and Liquidity Requirements - Ginnie Mae is finalizing changes to its net worth and liquidity requirements.
- Acknowledgement Agreement – Enhancements to Ginnie Mae’s Acknowledgement Agreement will help expand liquidity by enabling issuers to further use mortgage servicing rights as collateral.
- Dormant Issuer Policy - Ginnie Mae expends a significant amount of resources in the review of applications for new issuers and in compliance monitoring of issuers' activities. In order to most effectively utilize resources, Ginnie Mae has decided to adopt a policy whereby issuers must actively participate within an 18-month timeframe.
- The Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago - FHLBC and Ginnie Mae launched a pilot program to give small financial institutions more access to the secondary market.
Castro also recently spoke at the Bipartisan Policy Center’s Housing Summit in Washington, D.C. on Sept. 16, explaining HUD’s plan moving forward.
“By improving the way we do business, we will be able to more effectively deliver on our mission of creating opportunity for all. To do this, we want to focus on four areas of operational improvement,” he said.
Those four areas can be seen here.