Housing Finance Reform Incubator
With this incubator, the Urban Institute’s Housing Finance Policy Center hopes to nurture a fresh, open-minded look at the future of the housing finance system.
On this page, you will find short essays about the future of housing finance reform from authors who hold a wide spectrum of views. By inviting thoughtful people outside the Housing Finance Policy Center to join us in open-minded rethinking, we embrace the importance of open dialogue, listening to each other, and the opportunity to learn from others’ experiences.
These essays address the future housing finance system postconservatorship and explain how the authors think we could get there. The authors also address how the system they envision will serve underserved communities and households.
When the series concludes, the essays and concluding remarks will be compiled in a single document.
By bringing thoughtful voices together in a single forum, we hope to expand the debate and pave the way for new ideas. We look forward to a compelling and game-changing discussion.
To stay abreast of this conversation, you can check this page each week. You can also follow @MortgageLaurie on Twitter or sign up here to get our bimonthly newsletter with links to all upcoming work.
“In the aftermath of the Great Recession, the tragic loss of wealth, and the bailout of the big banks, our national government must continue to play a central role in the housing market to right previous wrongs, ensure access to all qualified borrowers, and keep the housing finance system afloat for future generations.”
"Between now and 2030, this country will face an unprecedented surge in rental housing demand. Already, rents are skyrocketing out of the reach for many families, especially in places with job opportunities. New multifamily housing construction is at its highest level since the 1986 Tax Reform Act, but most of the units are high end, which limits affordability."
"There will be nuanced demands coming from the high concentration of household formation in African American, Asian, and Hispanic communities. Ginnie Mae 2.0 looks to be the safest way to build a sustainable platform to bring proven market stability to meet the needs of a materially changing demographic."
"Consensus exists that a reformed housing finance system must protect taxpayers, emphasize the private markets, support a broad variety of housing options and remain liquid throughout an economic cycle. Surprisingly, few recognize that a proven model already exists that meets those objectives-and it's the multifamily programs of Fannie and Freddie."
"Today’s government-centric housing finance system is an “economics free zone” indifferent to supply and demand. Composed of an alphabet soup of agencies, this system has fostered a massive liberalization of mortgage terms and provided countless trillions of dollars in lending. Yet housing has become less, not more affordable or accessible."
"Much of the conversation on Capitol Hill and among policy thinkers has pushed affordability and access to the back burner. We need to bring it to the forefront of the conversation. The shape and quality of housing finance reform will have repercussions in every neighborhood and community and for our national economy."
"We believe that all housing needs, from the most directly-subsidized, affordable rental housing to the prime jumbo single-family lending market, lie along a single continuum. This housing continuum can be best served only by addressing single-family and multifamily, rental and homeownership, government and private capital, as parts of a holistic strategy."