Mortgage subsidies through federal agencies are the modern-day version of the Homestead Act. But unlike the land grants of the 19th century, government loan subsidies have proven to be a rather bad idea.
As voices across the ideological spectrum have come to recognize the need for serious reform of our housing finance system with a greater role for private capital, the nation's top housing regulator made an unfortunate revelation.
The Obama administration did too little, too late, to help troubled homeowners, who faced plummeting home prices and the risk of foreclosure. The most important thing they can do is get Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to adopt principal reduction.
For those in the real estate finance and home building industry, the coming of Mel Watt as the newly inducted Director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency could not have come at a more propitious time.
Some in Congress and in the administration want to do away with Fannie and Freddie and hand over their portfolio to the private banking industry, but without the previous requirements that banks do a certain amount of business with low-to-moderate income individuals.
The Coronel family is part of a growing national movement to challenge Wall Street and the financial industry, whose predatory practices resulted in millions of Americans losing their homes and millions more still "underwater" with homes worth less than their mortgages.
News coverage of the Senate's confirmation of Congressman Mel Watt on Tuesday to head the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) was all about politics, not the housing or banking issues he now has to address.
Wall Street doesn't want a new director of FHFA. They like things the way they are, and don't want a new sheriff in town. That is why Republicans are so willing to buck history and tradition, are so willing to stop the first African-American appointee to run FHFA to be confirmed.
The FHFA's decision preserves unfair practices in the mortgage servicing and insurance industries. It means the new approach and lower rates will not be implemented and therefore the status quo will continue.