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Sarah Rosen Wartell


President of the Urban Institute
The Urban Institute

Sarah Rosen Wartell, a public policy executive and housing markets expert, became the third president of the Urban Institute in February 2012. Wartell co-founded the Center for American Progress in 2003, serving as its first chief operating officer and general counsel. Later, as executive vice president, she oversaw its policy teams and fellows. Her work focused on the economy and housing markets, and she directed the Mortgage Finance Working Group and "Doing What Works" government performance program. Wartell was President Bill Clinton's deputy assistant for economic policy and the deputy director of his National Economic Council. In the White House from 1998 to 2000, she led over a dozen interagency working groups, negotiated legislation, and managed policymaking in housing and community development, financial markets and banking, insurance, consumer protection, pensions, and tort reform. At the Department of Housing and Urban Development from 1993 to 1998, Wartell advised the federal housing commissioner on housing finance, mortgage markets, and consumer protection.

Publications


Viewing 1-4 of 4. Most recent posts listed first.

A Pragmatic Plan for Housing Finance Reform (Occasional Paper)
Ellen Seidman, Phillip L. Swagel, Sarah Rosen Wartell, Mark M. Zandi

The paper starts from the premise that a future housing finance system must meet five essential goals: ensuring stability and liquidity so that the future housing finance system is resilient to crises and attractive to a wide range of global investors; ensuring access and equity so that all creditworthy borrowers can get access to the system; strengthening affordable housing, including rental housing for people who need it; limiting the government’s role and risk so that taxpayers are better protected; and establishing incentives, competition, and innovation so that a greater amount of private risk capital supports the system.

Posted to Web: June 19, 2013Publication Date: June 19, 2013

Sustainable Housing Finance: Perspectives on Reforming FHA: Testimony before the House Financial Services Committee Subcommittee on Housing and Insurance (Testimony)
Sarah Rosen Wartell

In testimony before the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Housing and Insurance, Urban Institute President Sarah Rosen Wartell described alternatives for reforming the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) to ensure a sustainable housing finance system, focusing on steps Congress can take now to improve FHA’s financial health by strengthening its ability to assess and manage risk and mitigate loss.

Posted to Web: April 10, 2013Publication Date: April 10, 2013

Addressing FHA's Financial Condition and Program Challenges Part II: Testimony before the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs (Testimony)
Sarah Rosen Wartell

In testimony before the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, Urban Institute President Sarah Rosen Wartell described the role that the Federal Housing Administration has played historically and during the most recent financial and housing market crises, explained the origin of losses expected from the FHA insurance portfolio, and suggested ways to avoid costs, such as more analytic capacity and additional tools and authorities to act nimbly to manage, price, and mitigate risk.

Posted to Web: February 28, 2013Publication Date: February 28, 2013

Savings: The Poor Can Save, Too (Article)
Robert Friedman, Ying Shi, Sarah Rosen Wartell

Encouraging savings and assets among low- and moderate-income families should be part of the national strategy to restore household and economic stability. Research shows that low-income families can and do save. Savings can help families weather emergencies and prosper, and asset building can help reduce the societal and fiscal cost of poverty. But current savings incentives primarily go to higher-income families, while many safety net programs penalize low-income people for saving. A broad-based asset strategy that complements—rather than displaces—a strong social safety net can foster economic opportunity for all families.

This essay is taken from a symposium on asset building in the new issue of Democracy: A Journal of Ideas.

Posted to Web: September 13, 2012Publication Date: September 01, 2012

 

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