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MBA president: The next President needs a housing policy director

Time to turn the page in housing

While the past eight years have been dominated by the housing crisis, it’s time to turn a new page and create policy that will reflect the evolved housing market, according to a blog for The Hill by David Stevens, Mortgage Bankers Association president and CEO.

During the past eight years, policy makers have focused on policies that help families in distress, however now we are well beyond the crisis, the blog states. Part of turning this new page should be creating a position for a point person responsible for coordinating and executing on the new policy.

From the blog:

Efforts to expand the development of affordable rental housing needs a firm Administration commitment via the expansion of the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) and public/private partnerships to encourage the development of safe, sustainable, and affordable rental workforce housing.

Today, lenders are being discouraged from lending to first-time home buyers by unclear rules and overly aggressive and inappropriate enforcement actions by the government agencies. The overlapping regulatory framework, where the states are piling on top of federal, on top of international, has put lenders in a defensive position, forcing them to into the most conservative lending posture in order to meet the lowest common denominator.  Needless to say this morass of bureaucracy must be addressed.

In short, the administration needs a change in approach towards housing, and that will fall to the next president to lead, according to the blog.

Unfortunately, however, neither presidential candidate has put much emphasis on housing throughout their campaign. This is despite the fact that 76% of Americans who are likely to vote in the 2016 presidential election say they are more likely to support candidates who make housing affordability a focus of their campaigns and a priority in government, according to a national public opinion poll by Make Room, a nationwide campaign giving voice to American renters.

When asked which candidate would spur higher home prices, Trump has a 10-point lead on Clinton, according to a report in July from Trulia.

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