General News Category Archives

Senate Committee To Hold Oversight Hearing on GSE Pilot Programs

The Senate Committee On Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs will meet in on October 18 to conduct a hearing entitled “Oversight of Pilot Programs at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.”  The witnesses will be:

  • Ms. Sandra Thompson, Deputy Director, Division of Housing Mission and Goals, Federal Housing Finance Agency; 
  • Mr. Timothy J. Mayopoulos, Chief Executive Officer, Fannie Mae; and
  • Mr. Donald H. Layton, Chief Executive Officer, Freddie Mac.

It is unclear at time of press which Pilot Programs will be addressed during the hearing, which will be webcast live.

Bipartisan Policy Center Hosts Panel on Evaluating Tax Expenditure Programs

On July 10, the Bipartisan Policy Center hosted a panel on the evidence-based evaluation of tax expenditure programs, such as LIHTC and Investment Tax Credits. It coincided with the release of a new report entitled “Evaluating Tax Expenditures: Introducing Oversight Into Spending Through the Tax Code”.

The event discussed the necessity of evaluating tax expenditures with a cost-benefit analysis as well as the political challenges and technical difficulties of doing so. Eugene Steuerle, one of the paper’s authors, offered suggestions to the IRS to re-organize and devote more resources to collecting data for tax expenditure policy analysis. Thomas Barthold, the Chief of Staff of the Joint Committee of Taxation (JCT) since 2009, reflected that Congress has placed some time and energy to evaluate costs and benefits of all the major affordable housing programs, including tax expenditures such as the LIHTC and other spending programs such as Section 8. He defends the current evaluations of these programs, but still perceives the utility of a more rigorous cost-benefit analysis.

Other challenges described by the panel include the complexities in quantifying social benefits of tax expenditure programs, political compromises made in Congress that occasionally yield ineffective policy, and the necessity to find policy solutions involving tax credits that will prevent additional growth of economic inequality.

A key theme from the panel is that collaboration and communication between politicians, developers, nonprofits and other businesses is essential for implementing optimal housing policy. A full recording of this engaging, politically diverse panel can be found on the Bipartisan Policy Center’s website.

Opportunity, Optimism, and Insight on Detroit’s Community Development Showcased at National Housing Conference Policy Symposium

Last Friday morning, the National Housing Conference (NHC) held its Annual Policy Symposium in Washington D.C. to a welcoming audience of investors, researchers, and bureaucrats. The half-day event included an address by Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan on the city’s development, a panel of experts further discussing Detroit, and a panel discussing the growing impact and role of private-public partnerships in community development.

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