Stevens: MBA Optimistic on Housing Reforms

WASHINGTON, D.C.–Mortgage Bankers Association President and CEO David Stevens, CMB, expressed optimism that substantive changes can be made to housing policy despite political storms swirling around Washington.

z“Housing is not a partisan issue,” Stevens said here at the MBA State & Local Workshop. “Regardless of who I talk to on Capitol Hill or within the Administration, there is a belief that housing reforms can be passed this year.”

Stevens expressed optimism that GSE reform will have a higher priority this year. “Both the Senate Banking Committee chairman (Mike Crapo, R-Idaho) and ranking member (Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio) genuinely like each other and want the GSEs to do what they are supposed to do,” he said.

Stevens cited MBA’s white paper on GSE reform as the foundation for what the future of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac should be (

“It makes sure that the same mistakes that were made before never happen again,” Stevens said. “We think that much of what is in our paper is going to be in future comprehensive GSE reform legislation. I believe GSE reform will occur in this Administration; there is momentum on Capitol Hill and we will be in the mix.”

Stevens said MBA will take advantage of the Administration’s pro-business posture and cited numerous recent MBA meetings with the White House, Treasury Department, HUD and other federal agencies. “We don’t expect any mass changes immediately, but these are all topics that we will be working through,” he said.

Stevens said the Administration’s push to ease regulatory burdens is welcome for the real estate finance industry. “It’s important that our lawmakers understand just how these regulations restrict the flow of credit and impede our ability to do our jobs,” he said.