News that President Barack Obama will pick Rep. Mel Watt, D-N.C., as his nominee to lead the Federal Housing Finance Agency caught both praise and criticism Wednesday.
However, Mortgage Bankers Association CEO and President David Stevens refrained from endorsing Rep. Watt or any other candidate for the FHFA position.
Instead, he released a statement, saying, "Watt has been an active player in housing policy for the last decade and, if confirmed, has a big job ahead of him."
Stevens was more specific in discussing what the FHFA needs to do going forward.
"It is time to begin transitioning these companies, creating a strong secondary mortgage market that relies first and foremost on private capital with a limited government guarantee that can function for the long term," Stevens said. "That needs to be the FHFA Director's number one priority."
He added, "In the meantime, in order to sustain the burgeoning housing recovery, the FHFA director ought to ensure that the agency, as well as Freddie and Fannie, operate in a completely transparent manner. These entities currently dominate the mortgage market, and changes they make to programs and policies have profound implications for borrowers and lenders alike."
Stevens is asking for an open and transparent process that forces the FHFA, Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae to publish their proposals while also accepting input from all stakeholders on housing policy along the way.