NID Co-Hosts FHFA Director Mel Watt at Oakland, CA Roundtable
Housing Industry Leaders Consider Solutions to National and Local Housing Challenges
OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA, December 1, 2016
On Wednesday morning, November 30, 2016, NID Housing Counseling Agency, a HUD-approved housing counseling agency based in Oakland, CA, and the Greenlining Institute, co-hosted a roundtable discussion with the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) Director Mel Watt, at the Carol H. Williams Advertising Agency in downtown Oakland, CA. The FHFA, as a leading federal policymaker, has one of the greatest impacts on housing policy in the United States. NID was honored to host Director Watt and invite discussion from over 40 national and local leaders on housing issues facing Oakland and the Bay Area, especially those disproportionately impacting low income and minority communities.
NID President and CEO, Mr. Ray Carlisle, Sr., moderated the roundtable discussion and maintained a group focus on proposing solutions to stubborn challenges in the local housing market. The discussion was wide-ranging, centering on access to housing and financing barriers for people of color in the Bay Area, municipal impasses in funding affordable housing, and the most efficient methods for local, state, and federal stakeholders to collaborate on innovative solutions. Of note, the roundtable discussion consistently returned to the research-proven value of housing counseling and education in preparing borrowers to be successful homeowners.
NID President and roundtable moderator Mr. Carlisle, Sr., summarized the multifaceted value of HUD-approved housing counseling and education:
“NID has witnessed for decades how its provision of pre and post-purchase housing counseling and education services improves outcomes for everyone involved. Borrowers are better equipped to practice responsible homeownership, which strengthens communities and builds wealth in historically marginalized neighborhoods. Financial institutions, such as banks, mortgage lenders, servicers and insurers, benefit from more stable investments and educated business partners in the homeowners. Local, state and federal oversight agencies can rely on the regulatory expertise of housing counseling agencies like NID to ensure adherence to procedures that help sustain fair and equal access to services and products. HUD-approved housing counseling and education is a keystone for a stable and thriving housing industry, just as a home is the keystone for wider social and familial health.”
Feature speakers included: Mr. Orson Aguilar and Ms. Hibba Meraay of the Greenlining Institute, Ms. Maeve Elise Brown, Executive Director and Founder of the Housing and Economic Rights Advocates, Mr. Chris Iglesias, CEO at the Unity Council, and Mr. Joshua Simon, Executive Director at the East Bay Asian Local Development Corporation.
Director Watt and Mr. Carlisle, Sr. welcomed other national and local stakeholders representing government, industry, and the non-profit sectors. Participants included, among others: Mr. Ron Cooper, President of the National Association of Real Estate Brokers (NAREB), Mr. Bill Brown, Jr., President of the National Association of Realtors (NAR), Ms. Tia Boatman Patterson, Executive Director of CalHFA, Mr. Jim Park, Partner at The Mortgage Collaborative and the 2013 Chair of Asian Real Estate Association of America (AREAA), Mr. Nate Miley, Supervisor on the Alameda County Board, and Ms. Lynette McElhaney, Council President and Member of the Oakland City Council.
Supervisor Wiley and City Council President McElhaney talked about the recently passed County and City bond programs to help address the affordable housing challenges and CalHFA Executive Director Boatman-Patterson talked about how to leverage these and other programs with those of the state. The NAR and NAREB presidents expressed their joint commitments to work with Washington, DC policy makers to reduce barriers to homeownership and preserving the mortgage interest deduction for primary and secondary homes; among other important issues.
Director Watt encouraged the local, state, and national leaders at the roundtable to extend the conversations from the morning and continue to work with the FHFA in finding consensus solutions to the persistent obstacles of access to responsible but fair mortgage loans and affordable homeownership and rental housing opportunities. NID Housing Counseling Agency, as one of the largest national intermediaries and partners of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), will continue its leadership role in bringing together communities, government, private industry, and other nonprofits, to find sustainable solutions in community building and sustained well-being.
NID-HCA is a diverse, centralized network of advocacy groups and individuals, organizations, housing counselors, real estate professionals, community groups, civic organizations and faith-based organizations committed to ensuring fair housing opportunities for all, especially in underserved urban/minority communities throughout the country. As an advocacy, policy, education, and resource network, NID-HCA works to provide its partners and the communities they serve with information, services, and products to assist them in increasing access to quality housing and mortgage products, and curbing housing inequities.