Treasury Announces Participants for Housing Conference
Next week, the Treasury Department is holding a conference on the future of housing finance as Washington gears up to reform the government-sponsored enterprises Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac — which stabilize the housing market and whose bailout has cost $150 billion thus far — this fall. Yesterday, Treasury announced the participants:
- Barbara J. Desoer, president of Bank of America Home Loans
- Ingrid Gould Ellen, professor of urban planning and public policy at New York University’s Wagner Graduate School of Public Service
- Bill Gross, co-founder and co-chief investment officer of PIMCO
- Mike Heid, co-president of Wells Fargo Home Mortgage
- S.A. Ibrahim, chief executive officer of Radian Group
- Marc H. Morial, president of the National Urban League
- Alex Pollock, fellow at the American Enterprise Institute
- Lewis Ranieri, chairman of Ranieri and Co.
- Ellen Seidman, executive vice president of ShoreBank Corp. and chair of the board at the Center for Financial Services Innovation
- Michael A. Stegman, director of policy for the Program on Human and Community Development of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation** **
- Susan Wachter, professor of financial management, real estate and regional planning at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School
- Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody’s Analytics
Affordable housing advocates criticized the list and argued against their exclusion, Zach Goldfarb at The Washington Post reports:
“Apparently being a community organizer qualifies you to be president, but it’s not good enough to be part of HUD and Treasury’s think tank on housing,” said NCRC chief executive John Taylor, whose group works with hundreds of community organizations to promote access to financial services for low- and middle-income people.
The criticism by affordable-housing advocates was notable because the Obama administration has so far paid much more attention to their concerns than previous administrations have. Advocates, for instance, had credited the administration with listening to community groups that argued that the government must do more to embrace rental housing for those who cannot afford to buy a home.