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

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.

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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

I say that when you set up that type of corporation and you set up that sort of insurance company and operate it in the manner proposed, you are going to close every building association in the United States. They cannot survive under it to save their souls. This is the heart of this whole bill.

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Harry E. Karr, Real Estate Board of Baltimore, Testimony, Committee on Banking and Currency. Senate.
05/16/1934 | Full Details | Law(s): National Housing Act

Believe such legislation would eventually seriously injure home-financing institutions which have been in existence in the country over a hundred years.

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Telegram from G.A. Mortimer, State Building and Loan Association, Inc. in the statement of Hon. Compton I. White, Idaho Congressman, Testimony, House Committee on Banking and Currency.
05/18/1934 | Full Details | Law(s): National Housing Act

There were many reasons why many of us who ordinarily would not like regimentation of industry—and we do not like regimentation of agriculture or any of the other instrumentalities of production—saw reasons under the emergency why it should be done, as an emergency say. But none of the reasons for which that was done in that character of industry holds good for any bill that will lead to a regimentation of American citizens, to say what he shall do with his individual home.

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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

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.