housing finance system

Treasury/HUD Conference on the Future of Housing Finance

On August 7, Treasury Secretary Geithner made opening remarks at the Conference on the Future of Housing Finance.  Secretary Geithner outlined four key questions underlying the approach to housing finance reform: (i) what role the government should play to provide stability in the housing finance system, (ii) what role the government should play in providing financial support to improve access to affordable housing, (iii) how to manage the securitization market, and (iv) how to manage the transition into a new housing finance system.  Secretary Geithner also highlighted the need for government involvement in providing a form of guarantee or insurance in a reformed system, noting that any government guarantee should be priced to cover the risk of losses and structured to minimize taxpayer exposure. HUD Secretary Donovan followed Secretary Geithner’s remarks and focused on policy issues and the broader social impact of housing finance. Secretary Geithner’s Remarks. Secretary Donovan’s Remarks.

Geithner Testimony on Housing Finance System Reform

On March 23, Treasury Secretary Geithner testified before the House Financial Services Committee regarding the future of the housing finance system. Geithner set forth the Administration’s objectives for a reformed system, which include: (i) widely available mortgage credit, (ii) housing affordability, (iii) consumer protection, and (iv) financial stability. Treasury and HUD will submit a list of questions by April 15 for public comment to seek recommendations and comments on: (a) the priorities for government housing policy, (b) the role of government in the housing finance system, (c) characteristics of mortgage products available to consumers, (d) best practices to ensure consumer protection, and (e) the most effective design for the housing finance system. Testimony.