NEW MORTGAGE RULE IS A STEP FORWARD FOR AFFORDABLE HOUSING

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national housing conferenceStatement from the National Housing Conference on the re-proposed qualified residential mortgage rule

WASHINGTON— Regulators have proposed a new version of mortgage rules that will give more Americans access to mortgage credit while helping to keep the mortgage finance system safe and sound. The National Housing Conference (NHC) applauds the six regulatory agencies for responding to the widespread sentiment against onerous down payment requirements and in favor of aligning major mortgages rules.

The proposal would align the qualified residential mortgage rule (QRM), part of the risk retention requirements of the Dodd-Frank law, with the qualified mortgage rule (QM), finalized earlier this year, which set standards for safe lending. An earlier version of QRM proposed a 20 percent down payment requirement for all QRM loans, which would have made low-down-payment loans to responsible low- and moderate-income borrowers much more difficult. NHC, along with a diverse coalition of many housing stakeholders, opposed the earlier down payment requirement and welcomes this new direction in policy.

“This new proposal shows that regulators listened to the comments from the wide range of stakeholders involved,” said Chris Estes, president and CEO of the National Housing Conference. “Aligning the QRM rule with the QM rules will allow more American families to become homeowners and ensures that housing markets can remain strong in the future. This is especially important for communities that are still rebuilding from the foreclosure crisis.”

The rule-making is not yet complete, however, and NHC urges regulators to move swiftly to finalize the rule once the second round of public comments is complete.

“The new direction regulators are taking is a very positive step, but the details will determine whether an average American family can purchase a home affordably,” said Ethan Handelman, NHC’s vice president for policy and advocacy. “NHC will bring together our members to take a careful look at the new proposed rule and offer comments to regulators to ensure that the new QRM makes sure that homeownership can be within reach of all responsible borrowers, not just those with accumulated wealth and pristine credit.”

About the National Housing Conference

The National Housing Conference (NHC) represents a diverse membership of housing stakeholders including tenant advocates, mortgage bankers, nonprofit and for-profit home builders, property managers, policy practitioners, realtors, equity investors, and more, all of whom share a commitment to safe, decent and affordable housing for all in America. We are the nation’s oldest housing advocacy organization, dedicated to the affordable housing mission since our founding in 1931. As a nonpartisan, 501(c)3 nonprofit, we bring together our broad-based membership to advocate on housing issues.