Housing Policy Counsel - Explained
What is the Housing Policy Counsel?
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Table of ContentsWhat is the Housing Policy Council?How Does the Housing Policy Council Work?The HPC and the HOPE NOW Alliance
What is the Housing Policy Council?
The Housing Policy Council (HPC), created in 2003, is a non-profit organization based in Washington D.C. that lobbies for the interests of member companies in the mortgage and housing businesses. Ed DeMarco, former acting director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, currently heads the HPC.
How Does the Housing Policy Council Work?
The Financial Services Roundtable, itself a special interest group of the financial services sector, laid the foundation for the HPC in 2003. The HPC is involved with housing and mortgage-related matters such as bank modernization, government-sponsored enterprise reform, the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act, data reporting, low-income housing tax credit, mortgage interest deductions and mortgage revenue bonds. The Financial Services Roundtable came into being in 1993 as the Bankers Roundtable, as a result of the merger between two associations - the Association of Reserve City Bankers and the Association of Registered Bank Holding Companies. The group was finally rechristened in 2000 and adopted a policy of a considerably broader focus on the banking industry. At present, the group is actively involved in activities pertaining to the housing industry, including mortgage lending.
The HPC and the HOPE NOW Alliance
The Housing Policy Council played a significant role in the formation of the HOPE NOW Alliance, a coalition that came into being to put a check on mortgage foreclosures triggered by the subprime mortgage market collapse of 2007-08. Investors, consultants and mortgage services all formed part of this new alliance. As a countermeasure to stop snowballing mortgage defaults in the aftermath of the 2008 recession, the Alliance began reaching out to homeowners who were struggling on their payments. It offered them perquisites such as free counseling by counselors authorized by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. In less than a year since its formation, the HOPE NOW Alliance helped upwards of 1 million homeowners in avoiding foreclosure. The strong connection between the Housing Policy Council and the Financial Services Roundtable resulted in the alliance having close relationships with major banking institutions. Moreover, the induction of several officials from major financial organizations into the roundtable's board of directors created the impression that the alliance was more involved in finding ways to minimize losses resulting from flawed underwriting than actually facilitating mortgagors, who often ended up with irreconcilable repayment plans.