On Friday, September 21, the Romney campaign released a short white paper entitled “Securing the American Dream and the Future of Housing Policy”, which details the Republican presidential candidate’s plans for “reduc[ing] the outsized role of the government and revitaliz[ing] the private sector’s role in the housing market to end the housing crisis and preserve the American Dream of homeownership.” The paper focuses primarily on homeownership, foreclosures, and Fannie and Freddie’s role in the housing market. It does not directly address multifamily rental housing.
The five central ideas of Romney’s housing plan includes:
- Ending and/or Reforming Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac
- Selling the 200,000 Vacant Foreclosed Homes Owned by the Government
- Making Foreclosure Alternatives Easier
- Implementing Sensible, Not Overly Complex, Financial Regulation
- Improving the Job Market
In addition to describing what areas of housing policy Romney plans to reform, the white paper also places significant blame on President Obama’s administration, alleging that its housing initiatives are “have been poorly administered with constantly changing terms and overstated goals that have never been met.” In addition, the Romney paper asserts that the Dodd-Frank Act, Obama’s financial regulation law, has been difficult to implement, places unfair burdens on small banks, and did little to nothing to reform Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae. While the paper identifies GSE reform as a significant priority it does not identify a specific path for reform.