House Democrats Urge the President to Focus on Affordable Housing in GSE Legislation
June 29, 2004
WASHINGTON—Seventy-six Democratic Members of the U.S House of Representatives urged President George W. Bush to join them in pressing the housing-related Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs) to beef up their affordable housing efforts.In a letter to President Bush sent Monday, the Members of Congress noted that the Administration has not supported legislative efforts to get the GSEs do more in the way of their housing mission and instead have criticized the GSEs publicly. “We have been led to conclude that the Administration does not appreciate the importance of the GSE’s affordable housing mission, as evidenced by its refusal to work with the House and Senate on this important legislation," the members said. The Members, including House Financial Services Committee Ranking Member Barney Frank (D-MA), which has jurisdiction over housing and GSE issues, asked the Administration to work collaboratively to advocate for “innovative loan products and programs" in manufactured housing and “similar products to preserve as affordable and rehabilitate" aging rental housing. “We’re concerned that the Administration would promote a negative image of the GSEs and raise their cost of financing," said Rep. Frank. “If the intent is to get pro-housing Members of Congress to weaken their support of the GSEs’ mission it is a mistaken strategy."
"Affordable housing is a critical issue for thousands of families across the country," said House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi. “We call on the Bush Administration to work with us to find an appropriate balance for GSEs that includes both sound financial oversight and a vigorous affordable housing mission. One cannot come at the expense of the other."