After winning a majority of the electoral college, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are presumed to be the current president-elect and vice president-elect of the U.S. The housing industry took the opportunity to welcome the new administration and remind it of its promises.
“On behalf of the Mortgage Bankers Association, I congratulate Joe Biden on being elected President of the United States,” MBA President and CEO Robert Broeksmit said. “MBA looks forward to working with President-elect Biden, Vice President-elect Harris, his administration and the new Congress on the wide variety of issues impacting borrowers, renters, and commercial lenders and property owners. This includes access to affordable housing for all Americans; helping first-time homebuyers enter the market; assisting owners, renters, and landlords negatively affected by the COVID-19 pandemic; and ensuring liquidity and a level playing field for lenders and borrowers alike.
“The housing market continues to be a bright spot in the current economy, which is why it’s critical to support policies and initiatives that ensure its success, while at the same time maintaining a fair and transparent regulatory environment that protects all participants,” Broeksmit said.
In fact, several industry leaders brought to light that housing continues to be a bright spot holding together the economy, and expressed their anticipation with working with the new administration.
“The American Land Title Association congratulates President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris for winning this historic election where a record number of Americans exercised their civic right to participate in the election process,” ALTA said in a statement. “We look forward to working with this administration and the new Congress on issues that affect mortgage finance and the broader real estate industry. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the housing market has been a key cog in supporting the economy. ALTA and its members look forward to continued bipartisan collaboration in developing policy that provides even more housing opportunities for all people across America and protects the property rights of every consumer nationwide.”
The Center for Responsible Lending reminded Biden of the struggles many communities have faced as a result of COVID-19, and called on the new administration to bring relief to these areas.
“During the campaign, President-elect Biden pledged to address widespread economic inequity and systemic racism, which long pre-date COVID-19 but have been exacerbated by the crisis,” CRL President Mike Calhoun said. “It is imperative for the Biden administration to carry out this commitment. Tackling these problems, especially the widening and persistent racial wealth gap, requires policymakers – including presidential appointees – to advance bold financial reforms.
“Change is needed on many fronts, including increased homeownership opportunity, small business lending equity, student debt cancellation, reformed debt collection practices and the elimination of predatory payday and installment lending,” Calhoun continued. “We look forward to working with the administration and Congress in support of a fair financial marketplace for all.”
However, this wish list may be asking too much of the new administration. While Congressional races remain undetermined, it is likely that Republicans will retain control of a nearly evenly split Senate, and Democrats, while still in control of the House, lost several seats. This makes “bold reform,” such as Calhoun calls for, unlikely, at least over the next two years.
But the call for unity was clear from housing leaders. After a turbulent election cycle, many called on the new administration to leave behind partisan fighting and unify the country.
“We congratulate President-elect Biden on his election to become the 46th President of the United States of America,” said Dan Berger, National Association of Federally Insured Credit Unions president and CEO. “Today, Americans continue to grapple with the ill effects of the coronavirus pandemic and economic uncertainties. We encourage President-elect Biden to work with Congress to deliver meaningful, bipartisan reform, to put the needs of Americans ahead of partisanship, and to empower credit unions to serve and strengthen our economy.
“NAFCU looks forward to working with the Biden administration and Congress in a unified manner to ensure credit unions remain a strong financial lifeline and community partner for the millions of Americans needing financial assistance during these uncertain times,” Berger said.
And of course, there were special congratulations for Harris, who will become the first woman to be elected vice president, as well as the first person of color to hold that office, and the first person of South Asian descent.
“The Council of Large Public Housing Authorities congratulates President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris on their election victory, and for the groundbreaking accomplishment of Kamala Harris as the first woman of color elected to the vice presidency,” CLPHA Executive Director Sunia Zaterman said. “The Biden/Harris ticket ran on a progressive platform to expand economic opportunity and equity.”
“Many CLPHA priorities such as increased federal investment in public and affordable housing, policy reform to allow public housing authorities to be nimbler in serving their residents and dismantling systemic racism are key elements of their housing and campaign promises,” Zaterman continued. “CLPHA looks forward to working with President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris during the transition as they assemble the public and affordable housing team that will advance our shared goals of ending poverty, improving health and education outcomes and providing the catalyst for upward mobility for low-income Americans.”
The real estate industry also welcomed the new administration, welcoming its $15,000 homebuyer tax credit proposal.