Confirm Congressman Melvin Watt to Lead the Federal Housing Finance Agency

Mel Watt Confirmation

photo credit: MassLive.com: “Springfield families facing foreclosure protest policies of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac”

Congressman Melvin Watt has been nominated to lead the Federal Housing Finance Agency, unfortunately, his confirmation has not moved forward in Congress yet.

The California Reinvestment Coalition supports the confirmation of Congressman Melvin Watt as the Director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) and recently signed onto a letter with 45 other organizations, urging Congress to allow an up or down vote.  In 2012, CRC organized a letter with 96 other community groups  to FHFA acting director Ed DeMarco, asking him to allow principal reductions with Fannie/Freddie loans, stop dual-tracking with Fannie/Freddie loans, and to offer tenants long-term leases if they are being displaced by their landlord’s foreclosure.

The director of the FHFA holds considerable power to improve policies at Fannie and Freddie and to ensure no more unnecessary foreclosures or tenant displacements, which is why CRC signed onto the letter below, which was organized by the National Fair Housing Alliance. To add your support and to stay posted on Representative Watt’s confirmation, follow #confirmwatt on Twitter.

Confirm Congressman Melvin Watt to Lead the Federal Housing Finance Agency

September 11, 2013

Dear Senator:

The undersigned civil rights, consumer, labor, housing, faith, and community
development organizations write to urge you to allow an up or down vote on the
nomination of Congressman Melvin Watt to a five-year term as Director of the Federal
Housing Finance Agency (FHFA). Congressman Watt is an extremely qualified nominee
to lead the FHFA and has an exceptional understanding of financial markets and an
appreciation for the crucial role that FHFA plays in stabilizing and strengthening our
economy.

American families continue to reel from the foreclosure crisis, and it is far from over.
Today, more than 10.7 million homeowners in the United States owe at least 25 percent or more on their mortgage than their property is actually worth, representing 23 percent of all homeowners with a mortgage in the nation. Families remain unable to sell and are stuck in their homes taking significant losses to their bottom lines until the housing market fully recovers. American homeowners need a regulator who will get things back on track for everyone.

Congressman Watt was one of the first to warn against the predatory mortgage lending practices that characterized the boom in subprime lending that devastated our entire economy. He helped to lead the effort to end these often discriminatory lending practices that caused the collapse of our financial system and led to the Great Recession. Congressman Watt called for safety, soundness and fairness to prevail over the blind rush for short-term profits.

Mr. Watt has demonstrated a commitment to helping communities that have been hardest hit by the foreclosure crisis, so that they too can share in our economic recovery. A hard lesson from the crisis is that when some of our communities do not receive fair treatment, all of our communities are impacted detrimentally. Our global competitiveness is challenged when all of our communities do not have the opportunity to succeed together.

Mr. Watt’s leadership would assure that the American public continues to have access to wealth-building opportunities through homeownership and would ensure access to much needed rental housing at a time when communities of color have suffered a massive loss of wealth built over a generation.

Throughout his career, Congressman Watt has proven that he is a fair, principled and effective leader whose policy positions are based on consumer and market needs. He understands how important it is for the secondary mortgage market to provide liquidity for all market segments, including those that historically have been underserved, in a way that promotes healthy, responsible growth for the entire country. He is eminently qualified for this job, and we urge the Senate to move quickly to confirm his nomination.

Sincerely,

AFL-CIO
American Association of People with Disabilities
American Federation of Government Employees
Americans for Financial Reform
Asian Americans Advancing Justice
Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law
California Reinvestment Coalition
Center for Responsible Lending
Communications Workers of America
Community Action Partnership
Consumer Action
Empire Justice Center
The Greenlining Institute
Hip Hop Caucus
International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace & Agricultural Implement Workers
of America (UAW)
The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights
MALDEF
NAACP
NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund, Inc.
National Association of Consumer Advocates
National Association of Human Rights Workers (NAHRW)
National Association of Neighborhoods
National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education
National Bar Association
National Black Justice Coalition
National Center for Lesbian Rights
National Coalition for Asian Pacific American Community Development (National
CAPACD)
National Community Reinvestment Coalition
National Council of La Raza
National Disability Rights Network
National Fair Housing Alliance
National Gay and Lesbian Task Force
National Immigration Law Center
National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty
National Low Income Housing Coalition
National Organization for Women
National People’s Action
page 3/ Confirm Congressman Melvin Watt to Lead the FHFA
National Urban League
New Bottom Line
The Opportunity Agenda
PICO National Network
PolicyLink
Poverty & Race Research Action Council
United Food and Commercial Workers, International
United Steelworkers (USW)

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