Back to the Drawing Board for Bipartisan Housing Committee

by Chicago Agent

It's back to the drawing board in Washington, as a bipartisan commission sets its sights on housing.

The Bipartisan Policy Center has announced a new, bipartisan Housing Commission tasked with conducting a top-down analysis of the U.S. housing market and its long term trends.

Co-chaired by two former U.S. Senators and two former heads of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the commission will seek advice and testimony from economists and housing analysts throughout 2012, releasing its policy suggestions early 2013, the Washington Post reports.

In addition, the commission will host several public forums in 2012, the first of which will be in San Antonio, Texas in March.

“The Bipartisan Policy Center’s Housing Commission aims to reform the nation’s housing policy by crafting a package of realistic and actionable policy recommendations that consider the near-term and address the long-term challenges in the sector,” states the Bipartisan Policy’s website. “Making a continual effort to include both Republican and Democratic perspectives in its outreach and research, the Housing Commission will draw upon a wide range of viewpoints, bringing together housing experts, business leaders, former elected officials, academics, and other key stakeholders to help define this complex issue.”

Co-chairing the commission will be Christopher S. “Kit” Bond, a former senator, Henry Cisneros, a former secretary at HUD, Mel Martinez, a
former senator and secretary of HUD, and George Mitchell, a former senate majority leader and a co-founder of Bipartisan Policy Center.

Bond said in the Washington Post piece that though the commission’s challenges are steep, housing is too important to leave unchecked.

“The American Dream of homeownership recently turned into a nightmare for many families and, in turn, our neighborhoods, communities, and entire economy suffered,” Bond said. “Solving these issues and addressing long-term questions on the role of government in housing will be no small stump to jump, but we cannot afford to fail.”

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