HUD Secretary: Housing Finance Reform Remains Top Priority

HUD Secretary Julian Castro said Monday that overhauling the mortgage finance system remains a top priority for the final two years of the Obama administration.

Castro suggested that the next Congress consider legislation that would wind down and eventually eliminate mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac as part of the effort to boost the housing market’s recovery.

“This could be, I believe, a good victory either in the lame-duck session or, more realistically, perhaps in the next term of Congress where there is bipartisan support for housing finance reform, for doing away with Fannie and Freddie as we’ve known them, creating a backstop,” he told Bloomberg Television.

The Senate has generated two bipartisan bills, including one by Senate Banking Committee Chairman Tim Johnson (D-S.D.) and ranking member Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) that gained approval by the panel in May.

But, since then, there has been little movement to get a bill through Congress.

“Introducing more private capital into the market and taking the taxpayers off the hook if we do ever experience what we just went through  as part of the housing crisis in 2007, 2008, 2009, that is a priority this administration and for HUD,” Castro said.



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