Defending Access To Homeownership

General Posts

by Carmen Mercado

June is National Homeownership Month, a time reserved for honoring the symbol of stability for working families. This year, however, celebrations have been traded for defensive strategies as housing industry partners mobilize to defend broad access to homeownership now threatened by regulator rulemaking.

The proposed QRM risk retention rule now up for debate would require prospective borrowers to present a 20 percent down payment, spend less than 28 percent of their monthly gross income on housing and have total household debt capped at 26 percent.

Most people can’t afford a 20 percent down payment. In fact, a recent poll conducted by our friends at the National Foundation for Credit Counseling of mortgage borrowers came back with some surprising results. Over half of the 1000 people who participated in the survey said they would not be able to meet the down payment requirement to buy a home.

Framed another way: With renters having a median net worth of $5100, a recent white paper authored by the Mortgage Banker’s Association, the National Association of Homebuyers and the National Association of REALTORS estimated that it would take the average American family 16 years to save a 20 percent down payment for a median price home of $172,900. This essentially means that even the most creditworthy and diligent first-time homebuyer cannot qualify for the lowest rates and safest products.

Do you see where this is all going?

What would this do to home sales? How would this impact the recovery? What does this mean for depressed housing values? The answers are obvious. With the glut of homes on the market, with shuttered neighborhoods turning into ghost towns, we will make it more difficult for the next generation of buyers to get affordable financing.

This is like punishing America’s working class families for the sins of a few.

We are not standing still on this critical issue. The QRM rule has created an unprecedented alliance of dozens of civil rights, real estate, labor, mortgage and consumer advocacy groups and elected officials to speak out against this proposed regulation. NAHREP is part of this alliance. So are 320 members of the House and the Senate.

The heart and soul of this argument needs to come from you, the people who work in these communities. This is about more than just business; it’s about the future, long-term wealth and the quality of life we want our children and grandchildren to have.

Please join us in taking a stand in defense of homeownership now. Get informed! Download the White Paper from the Coalition For Sensible policy here. When you receive a call to arms from NAHREP, please take action. Your defense of homeownership now can make all the difference to tomorrow’s homebuyers.

Carmen Mercado

Carmen Mercado is the president of the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals. For a copy of “Proposed Qualified Residential Mortgage Definition Harms Creditworthy Borrowers While Frustrating Housing Recovery” from the Coalition For Sensible Housing Policy go to

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