What NHC and our members achieved in 2019
Housing Finance Reform
NHC’s Housing Finance Reform Working Group convened seven times over the course of the year to discuss the critical issue of reforming Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. In September, based on the work of the working group, NHC published a white paper laying out a framework for bipartisan housing finance reform. “With the Trump administration’s recent focus on housing finance reform,” the report notes, “there is an opportunity to complete GSE reform as well as maintain and enhance mortgage funding liquidity through a durable market structure that will support investments in mortgage financing through all business cycles, include an enforceable set of responsibilities to serve the entire market of renters and qualified home buyers while protecting the taxpayers’ investment.” The working group continued to meet over the course of the year to discuss the Trump administration’s housing finance reform plans and the FHFA’s Request for Input on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s proposed modifications to their Duty to Serve plans, to which NHC submitted a comment letter.
Closing the Black Homeownership Gap
NHC’s Black Homeownership Working Group convened four times over the year to formulate solutions to the widening black-white homeownership gap. In these meetings, leaders from across the housing spectrum discussed the problem in depth and brainstormed ways to expand access to homeownership for prospective black homebuyers. The working group also received an exclusive data briefing from Freddie Mac on challenges and opportunities to closing the racial homeownership gap. NHC President and CEO David Dworkin also submitted testimony as part of a House Financial Services Subcommittee on Housing hearing on the state of black homeownership.
CRA Modernization
Our Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) Working Group convened in December to begin to formulate a comment letter in response to the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency’s (OCC’s) recent Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPR) on CRA modernization. “There is no question that CRA needs to be modernized, but the proposed approach is the wrong way to do it,” Dworkin said in a statement about the OCC’s NPR. Beyond the working group, NHC has done a great deal of advocacy on the issue of CRA modernization over the past year, meeting with Comptroller of the Currency Joseph Otting and other key stakeholders. In September, NHC, the National Association of Affordable Housing Lenders, and the National Community Reinvestment Coalition led a coalition of organizations in writing a letter to all three regulators encouraging them to agree on a common NPR on CRA regulator actions, and advocating that metrics for CRA activity be workable, flexible, robust, and address community needs.
Creating a National Housing Act for the 21st century
We have actively started laying the groundwork for a new National Housing Act for the 21 st century, identifying co-chairs to lead working groups on the four key sub-areas of the act: affordable homeownership, affordable rental housing, ending homelessness, and climate impact. These working groups have met several times, identifying key issues within their sub-area that members would like to see addressed in the national housing act and establishing a research-based foundation for the act. “This is our opportunity – your opportunity – to once again be a part of history in the making,” Dworkin wrote in a blog post about the effort.
NHC on the Hill
Dworkin and Policy Director Tristan Bréaux had many successful meetings with members of Congress and their staff this year to push our policy priorities forward. These include meetings with Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman David Price (D-N.C.), Housing, Community Development, and Insurance Subcommittee Chairman Lacy Clay (D-Mo.), former Housing, Community Development, and Insurance Subcommittee Ranking Member Sean Duffy (R-Wisc.), and Representatives Debbie Dingell (D-Mich.), Thomas Suozzi (D-N.Y.), Fred Upton (R-Mich.), Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-Texas), and John Rose (R-Tenn.), as well as the staffs of the Senate Banking Committee, Senator Mark Warner (D-Va.), and Senator Jack Reed (D-R.I.). We also engaged in direct advocacy on important housing-related legislation, advocating for the passage of, among other bills, the Save Affordable Housing Act of 2019, the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act and the Neighborhood Homes Investment Act.
NHC and the Executive Branch
NHC has been fully engaged with the Trump administration and a wide range of regulators. This year we have met with Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson, who also spoke at our annual Housing Visionary Awards Gala, FHFA Director Mark Calabria, who also spoke at the Gala, Acting Deputy HUD Secretary and FHA Administrator Brian Montgomery, Acting Ginnie Mae President Maren Kasper, Comptroller of the Currency Joseph Otting, FDIC Chair Jelena McWilliams, Federal Reserve Board Governor Lael Brainard, and staff from the White House Domestic Policy Council and National Economic Council.
We released two major research reports this year, each highlighting an important issue in affordable housing. The first, our annual Paycheck to Paycheck report released in April, showed that construction workers across the country struggle to afford housing, whether buying a home or renting an apartment. The report highlighted the housing affordability challenges of workers in five job categories within the construction industry, finding that “workers in four of the five job categories are only able to afford a median-priced home with a 10 percent down payment in half of the markets in which they work.” As part of the report, we also published an interactive online database where users can compare housing affordability for 81 different occupations in 259 different metro areas.

In July, we published Promising Health and Housing Collaborations, which examines innovative collaborations between health care providers and housing organizations in Oregon, Tennessee, and Massachusetts.
2019 Events: Celebrating, learning and strategizing
We hosted three conferences this year: Solutions for Housing Communications in April, our Annual Policy Symposium in June and Solutions for Affordable Housing in December, all of which brought housers from across the country together to learn from thought leaders on important housing-related issues.

We also hosted the 47 th Annual Housing Visionary Awards Gala in June, where we honored Bill Bynum of HOPE Enterprise Corporation, as well as the California Ballot Initiative Team and Wilfred Cooper, Sr. of WNC. “This evening, we celebrate the work of bold visionaries in housing, but also of big achievers,” Dworkin said in his remarks at the Gala . “They refused to play by the rules and wrote new ones instead. They refused to accept obstacles in their path, building bridges to cross them. And they made a difference.”

Finally, we hosted a reception at the Foundations for the Future of Housing Conference in Chicago in October, where we sponsored the attendance of 30 emerging leaders in affordable housing who won our essay contest.
Be sure to mark your calendars for these 2020 events!
March 18
Solutions for Housing Communications
National Press Club
Washington, DC
June 9
Annual Housing Visionary
Awards Gala
Andrew Mellon W. Auditorium
Washington, DC