Washington, DC-In a testimony before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Financial Services, NCLR (National Council of La Raza), the largest national Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization in the United States, today called on Congress and the administration to strengthen the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) to stabilize the housing market and bolster the nation's weak economy.
"NCLR is deeply concerned about the lack of progress in restoring stability and ownership opportunity to the housing market," said Janis Bowdler, Deputy Director of NCLR's Wealth-Building Policy Project during the hearing. "Not only are Latino families losing their homes at record rates, many that should be able to take advantage of the newly affordable home prices are unable to access credit."
NCLR President and CEO Janet Murguía later stated, "Our families continue to be hit hard by foreclosures and unemployment. We know that working families will not recover until jobs return to their neighborhood and the housing market is stable."
With more than 700,000 Latino and Black homeowners expected to lose their homes to foreclosure this year alone, FHA cannot allow for the bleak economic climate to sidetrack its mission to provide credit in underserved communities. The financial crisis demands that hardest-hit communities receive access to credit, helping to stabilize the housing market and, in turn, boost the economy.
NCLR provided the following recommendations in its testimony to strengthen the FHA program, restore homeownership opportunities, and protect homeowners and taxpayers: