Bi-Partisan Housing Commission Announced

November 2011Newsletters In the Zone

On October 26, 2011, the Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) announced the launch of a bipartisan Housing Commission that will address the long-term challenges facing a struggling housing sector. Former U.S. Secretaries of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Henry Cisneros and Mel Martinez (also a former U.S. Senator), former U.S. Senator Kit Bond and former U.S. Senate Majority Leader and BPC Founder George Mitchell have been named to lead the effort. (Watch video .)

The bipartisan Commission hopes to develop consensus recommendations on the most effective way to meet the future housing needs of America.

The housing finance system played a significant role in the recent U.S. financial crisis and the resulting economic recession. Since the housing bubble burst in 2006, the wealth of American homeowners has fallen by more than $9 trillion, or nearly 40 percent. Through September, the number of home foreclosures in 2011 reached 1.5 million. The strength of the housing industry has a substantial impact on the nation’s economic recovery, affecting consumer spending, homebuilding, banking and local tax revenues.

BPC’s Housing Commission will draw upon a wide range of political and industry perspectives and will include housing experts, business leaders, former elected officials, academics and other key stakeholders. The full Commission will be announced later this year and meet for the first time in December 2011.

Over the course of the next year, the Commission intends to craft a package of policy recommendations that will address the future housing needs of an increasingly diverse American society. The final recommendations will be released in early 2013 for consideration by the administration and Congress. As part of its work, the Commission will offer views on the appropriate role of the federal government in helping to shape the nation’s future housing landscape and an analysis of the effectiveness of the full range of current federal supports to housing.

BPC’s Housing Commission will examine the key issues of the housing finance system, including the roles of the private market and government as well as policies that support rental and homeownership housing options. The Housing Commission will also actively seek input and ideas from the public and thought leaders by hosting regional forums across the country, through the web and by conducting focus groups over the next year.

For more information, please contact Robert W. Gundlach, Jr. at 215.918.3636 or [email protected].

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