Ed Brady, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a home builder and developer from Bloomington, Ill., issued the following statement regarding Freddie Mac reporting a first quarter loss:
“Taxpayers dodged a bullet today but the warning bell is blaring. The fact that the Treasury could have put American taxpayers on the hook to cover Freddie Mac’s first quarter losses should come as no surprise to the White House and Congress, which have abrogated their responsibilities by allowing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to remain in conservatorship for the past eight years.
“Policymakers on the extreme left and right of the political spectrum have allied in a voting bloc of stubborn inaction. Their delay is adding more uncertainty to the housing market, discouraging private investment in financial markets, making it more difficult for creditworthy borrowers to obtain home loans and impeding the housing and economic recovery.
“Decisive action needs to be taken now to overhaul our nation’s housing finance system. A bipartisan group of senators put forth a solid plan in the last Congress known as the Johnson-Crapo bill that would protect the 30-year mortgage, deliver more liquidity to the housing market and provide a limited federal backstop to the mortgage market that would be triggered only in specific circumstances after other resources were exhausted. More recently, a group of private sector experts unveiled their own proposal that contains many of the elements in the Senate plan, along with other broad structural reforms. These two blueprints provide an excellent foundation to move forward and get the job done.
“Today’s earnings report should serve as an urgently needed wake-up call to policymakers. Congress and the administration must end their dawdling and make it a top priority to fix our nation’s housing finance system.”