Housing/Mortgages

Housing/Mortgages

The federal government has been involved in housing since the formation of a Congressional commission in 1892 to investigate slum conditions in the nation’s cities.   During WWI and WWII the federal government constructed and managed housing for defense workers and military personnel.  Since the National Housing Act was signed into law by FDR in 1934 the federal government has helped middle and working class families acquire home loans through regulation of savings and loan industry, subsidized loans and other mechanisms. These policies have transformed and dramatically expanded the opportunity for homeownership and helped to create the middle class in the U.S.

Cry Wolf Quotes

I do not see that it is the function of Congress to tell me whether I shall take a straight loan or whether I shall take an amortized loan. It does not make any difference to me whether you tell it to me in blunt terms through officials here in Washington, or whether you so rig the financial market that I must steer the course that you lay out for me. I do not think that we ought to expect such legislation from legislators who represent a party that stands for initiative, for the rights of the States, and the rights of the community. I do not think we are going to get it from them.

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Miss Marie L. Obenauer, Joint Chairman, Board of Governors of Home Owners’ Protective Enterprise, Testimony. Committee on Banking and Currency. Senate.
05/18/1934 | Full Details | Law(s): National Housing Act

We do not think there is either any social or any economic necessity for the insurance of present mortgages.

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Friedlander, President of the Gibraltar Savings & Building Association, Houston, TX. And Vice-President of the United States Building & Loan League, Testimony. Committee on Banking and Currency. Senate. May 16-19, 21-24, 1934.
05/16/1934 | Full Details | Law(s): National Housing Act

…the bill holds little or no relief for the home owner and threatens real harm to the home-owning family.

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Miss Marie L. Obenauer, Joint Chairman, Board of Governors of Home Owners’ Protective Enterprise, Testimony. Committee on Banking and Currency. Senate.
05/16/1934 | Full Details | Law(s): National Housing Act

What is more, I do not believe that the home-owning family, with its back against the wall, fighting for the protection of its children, fighting for a way to live in some other way than on Mr. Hopkins’ relief rolls is going to jeopardize the family shelter for any such purpose. I think it is nothing short of a crime to use the money of the taxpayers to incite people to go into debts they do not know how they are going to meet and by which they are going further to jeopardize the family shelter.

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Miss Marie L. Obenauer, Joint Chairman, Board of Governors of Home Owners’ Protective Enterprise, Testimony. Committee on Banking and Currency. Senate.
05/18/1934 | Full Details | Law(s): National Housing Act

Evidence

Backgrounders & Briefs

Good Rules: Ten Stories Of Successful Regulation

Demos looks at ten laws and rules that we take for granted.

Community Reinvestment Act Policy Brief

By Philip Ashton, UIC

The Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) has been critical to the expansion of responsible credit for low- and moderate-income borrowers since its passage in 1977.

Resources

The Center for Responsible Lending promotes and advocates legislation to defend lower income Americans from abusive or predatory lending practices.