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Media

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Audrey Duff
www.homeownershipalliance.com
(202) 354-8205 (202) 354-8201 FAX

Housing, Mortgage and Community Development Leaders Form Homeownership Alliance to Preserve, Promote and Expand America's Housing System

Alexandria, VA -- Vowing to increase support for America's housing system so that it can expand homeownership opportunities for more Americans, housing, mortgage and community development leaders today announced the formation of the Homeownership Alliance.

The Homeownership Alliance is a broad-based public education organization that will promote the American housing system. The group will not lobby members of Congress, but will concentrate on public advocacy, principally through its Web site http://www.homeownershipalliance.com. Rick Davis, formerly presidential campaign manager for Arizona Sen. John McCain, will serve as president of the Homeownership Alliance, which will be based in Alexandria.

The following organizations have joined as participating members of the Homeownership Alliance:

  • The American League of Financial Institutions
  • The Enterprise Foundation
  • Fannie Mae
  • Freddie Mac
  • Independent Community Bankers Association
  • Local Initiatives Support Corporation
  • National Association of Home Builders
  • National Association of Real Estate Brokers
  • National Bankers Association
  • National Urban League

The founding members of the Homeownership Alliance represent the nation's 200,000 home builders; 5,300 independent community banks; major civil rights organizations; the largest investors in homeownership in America; two of the nation's largest nonprofit community development organizations; and organizations representing the nation's African-American bankers, thrift executives and real estate brokers.

"We have come together in an extraordinarily broad coalition for one purpose: to stand up and be counted on the side of America's housing finance and delivery system. This system is an incredible force for boosting homeownership and rental housing opportunities, driving economic growth, strengthening families and helping build financial security for American households," said Robert L. Mitchell, president of the National Association of Home Builders.

"Community bank lenders are committed to work to preserve and grow the remarkable American housing finance system which is the envy of the world. Our system, which provides all lenders ready access to the secondary market sustained by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, brings enormous benefits to every American--the opportunity to own a home and build financial dreams," said Thomas J. Sheehan, President of the Independent Community Bankers of America.

Mitchell said that The Homeownership Alliance "will serve as the nexus for organizations promoting homeownership and housing choice in America. It will educate consumers, and provide them with news about the positive developments in the housing finance system as it expands opportunities for more Americans to become homeowners. At the same time, the Homeownership Alliance will protect that homeownership system against attempts to undermine it."

Rick Davis said that homeownership in America is a core national priority. "Yet, some critics of the system, particularly those who disagree with the role currently played by the housing Government Sponsored Enterprises, are implicitly calling for policy makers to reconstruct the system so it can be more like that of other industrialized countries. But our current system is much better than theirs. Forty-percent down-payments, like they have in Germany, and huge prepayment penalties that are the norm for refinancing in some European countries are things we did away with decades ago, and we certainly don't want to turn the clock back," Davis said.

As president of the Homeownership Alliance, Davis will oversee three key activities.

  • www.homeownershipalliance.com The Web site for the Homeownership Alliance will have links to all of the member organizations' Web sites, and will provide consumers with news from each of the organizations. It will provide guest essays supporting housing. Two previous secretaries of Housing and Urban Development, Henry Cisneros and Jack Kemp have written the first guest essay. The Web site will provide consumers with information about the organizations that support the Homeownership Alliance and about the housing finance system, including its history. A special section will enable consumers to compare the American housing finance system to those of other countries.

  • Research Members of the Homeownership Alliance will conduct and fund research. The Homeownership Alliance web site will serve as a single source for the combined research generated by member organizations and others. This will be useful to consumers, advocates, academics and the members themselves.

  • Seminars At a date to be announced in October, the Homeownership Alliance will convene a seminar in Washington to promote homeownership, discuss recent trends and outline threats and potential threats to the system. This seminar will become an annual event, and will be recreated by regional seminars across the country in 2001.

"The potential for the Homeownership Alliance is boundless," Davis said. "Seldom have so many organizations, representing so many constituents, come together for so positive a purpose."

The Homeownership Alliance is constituted as a limited-liability corporation. It will be funded entirely by its membership.

Its mission statement and brief descriptions of the associations, organizations and companies that comprise its membership are attached.

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