Last week, Senate and House Committees took up discussions about proposals to reform the nation’s housing finance system. The Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs held a hearing on March 15 to discuss the Administration’s report to Congress to reform America’s housing finance market. Witnesses included Timothy Geithner, Secretary, United States Department of the Treasury; and Shaun Donovan, Secretary, United States Department of Housing and Urban Development. To a large degree, testimonies from the two Secretaries summarized the Administration’s report on proposals to stabilize and reform the nation’s housing finance system, submitted to Congress last month. HUD Secretary Donovan pointed out the Administration’s renewed commitment to affordable rental housing, and called for new funding streams to support the development and preservation of more affordable rental housing for the lowest-income families.
On the same day, the House Committee on Financial Services convened to mark up its “Views and Estimates” report on the FY12 budget proposal by the President. Among other things, the report asserts that the National Housing Trust Fund duplicates other federal programs, such as the HOME Investment Partnership program. The Committee passed the “Views and Estimates” by a vote of 29 to 24.