HUD Secretary Julian Castro: Too Difficult To Get Home Loan, “Duh” $XHB
HUD Secretary Julian Castro spoke with Bloomberg TV’s Peter Cook about the first positive balance for the Federal Housing Administration’s mortgage-insurance fund in two years and the outlook for an overhaul of federal housing-finance rules.
Castro detailed the improving financial picture for the Federal Housing Administration, stating the government’s mortgage insurance fund is “back in the black” for the time in two years: “Is it now in positive territory. In fact, over the last two years it’s seen an increase of $21 billion in its value. And the underlying fundamentals of the portfolio of the fund are stronger than they have been in quite a while.”
He also spoke about the difficulties some Americans are having in qualifying for home loans, citing the example of former Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke:
“If a few years ago, it was too easy to get a home loan and today what we see out there is that for many everyday Americans who are responsible and hardworking it’s too difficult to get a home loan…Folks remember just a few weeks ago that Ben Bernanke was saying that he couldn’t get his home refinanced. Then the question is where is the pendulum best placed? Can we get the pendulum right in the middle where it belongs with a balance of ensuring that we don’t slide back to where we were and also ensuring there is good access to credit for Americans who are ready and responsible to buy a home.”
Castro said reforming the mortgage finance system would be a “priority” for the administration over the next two years:
“This could be I believe a good victory either in the lame duck session or more realistically perhaps in the next term of Congress where there is bipartisan support for housing finance reform, for doing away with Fannie and Freddie as we have known them. Creating a backstop, however, introducing more private capital into the market and taking the taxpayers off the hook.”
Source: Interview with Bloomberg Television