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Hearing on Government Home Lending Reform Set for Thursday in Woodbridge

By Potomac Local News December 18, 2013 1:26 pm

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Olde Town Square is a series of new homes being constructed in Old Town Manassas, along Zebedee and Center streets. [Photo: Uriah Kiser / Potomac Local News]

Olde Town Square is a series of new homes being constructed in Old Town Manassas, along Zebedee and Center streets. [Photo: Uriah Kiser / Potomac Local News]

WOODBRIDGE, Va. – A panel discussion in Woodbridge Thursday will take on the topic of replacing government housing lenders Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae with a privately-funded agency, changing the way home mortgages in the U.S. are guaranteed.

The National Council of La Raza is the group holding the discussion, and it is set to include Michelle Maiwurm, Legislative Office of Senator Mark Warner, James Carr, Senior Fellow, Center for American Progress, Father Gerry Creedon, of Catholics for Housing, Mercy Struthers, of Casals Realtors, and Bill Vaughan, Chief Economist, Prince William County Office of Finance, will take up the issue of legislation put forth by Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) that would create the Federal Mortgage Insurance Corporation, shifting more of the risk of default on mortages from the Federal Government to private industry.

More in a statement from Corker:

“Unfortunately, more than five years after Fannie and Freddie were given $188 billion from taxpayers to stay afloat, nine out of 10 mortgages come with an explicit government guarantee, the private sector has been almost completely priced out of the business, and a hiccup in the economy could put taxpayers on the hook for another bailout. It is time to move to a modernized 21st-century housing finance system.”

But some say low-income families and first-time home buyers, under this new structure, would lose out getting into new housing.

More in a press release from NCLR:

The National Council of La Raza and the Center for American Progress released a study last spring, “Making the Mortgage Market Safe for America’s Families,” which outlined the needs in the current housing market and set forth a proposed set of principles necessary to support a broad, accessible and affordable housing market. Among the recommendations—the establishment of a fully funded Market Access Fund to promote broader access to mortgage credit and to foster new and safe mortgage products as a way of also increasing access and the current bill.

The discussion begins on Thursday at 11:30 a.m. inside the Prince William County’s McCoart Government Center Powell’s Creek Conference Room.