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
You call it a National Housing Act. I hope, if you pass this bill—God grant that you don’t, but if you do, I hope you will change it from ‘National Housing Act’ and call it ‘National housing bill’, with the accent on the ‘bill’; because the only possible excuse for calling this a housing act is that the home owners of the country are going to pay the bill, and they are going to pay in two ways. They are going to pay as home owners, and then they are going to pay again as taxpayers. There is not another excuse for calling this a housing act. You might as well call a savings-bank law a baby-fund law; an insurance law, a widows’ and orphans’ fund, as to call this thing a housing act, drawn in the interest of the home owner. If you want any other evidence of it, I will call your attention to the fact that every one of the nongovernmental witnesses who have appeared before this committee are either money-lending brokers—most of them were that—or they are the business men who make money out of home owners.
…the bill holds little or no relief for the home owner and threatens real harm to the home-owning family.
…we are convinced that first and most fundamental, the bill sets up machinery which leads straight for Federal regimentation of American home-buying, home building, home finance, and home repair.
Gentlemen, most of the home owners want to keep their credit. We are not asking that we escape our responsibilities; we just want to find a way to pay, and we do not want you to make it harder for us.
Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco Shuts Down Critics of the Community Reinvestment Act
The Community Reinvestment Act had nothing to do with the subprime crisis.
Community Reinvestment Act Did Not Fuel the Subprime Crisis
The Community Reinvestment Act did not create an overabundance of risky loans.
Inclusionary Housing: A Good Solution to Create Affordable Housing
In defense of inclusionary housing.
Backgrounders & Briefs
Demos looks at ten laws and rules that we take for granted.
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.