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National Housing Conference convenes policy heavyweights to debate the future of housing finance

Affordable housing group hosts Policy Summit after marking 80th anniversary

June 20, 2011

WASHINGTON—As the country struggles economically, the future shape of the mortgage finance system remains a central question, as do questions about Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and role of government in general.  The question of how most Americans will finance their housing choices in a post-bubble world hangs in the balance.  To consider the choices and help chart a course forward, the National Housing Conference (NHC) will host its Policy Summit on mortgage finance reform Friday, June 24, from 8:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Columbus Club in Union Station. The event is open to members of the media.

The Policy Summit follows NHC’s annual Housing Person of the Year Gala scheduled on June 23 at the National Building Museum, honoring Professor Nicolas Retsinas and Sister Lillian Murphy, RSM, and celebrating NHC’s 80th anniversary.

Retsinas, director emeritus of Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies, former FHA commissioner and a longtime fixture in national housing policy, will moderate a key panel at the summit, which convenes NHC members and housing leaders and experts from around the country to debate how to reform America’s housing finance system. Congressman Gary Miller (R-CA) will offer a perspective from Congress to open the session.  Jeffrey Goldstein, the Treasury undersecretary for domestic finance, will speak to the Administration’s plans for mortgage finance reform.

NHC has assembled experts from a broad range of political and industry perspectives, representing both right and left, nonprofit and for-profit, for panels on the future of home mortgage finance and multifamily mortgage finance.  Thought leaders from private development, banks, academia and nonprofits will serve as panelists, including David Stevens, President and CEO of Mortgage Bankers Association; Amy Anthony, president, founder and executive director of Preservation of Affordable Housing; Willy Walker, Chairman, President and CEO of Walker & Dunlop; Susan Wachter, Richard B. Worley professor of financial management and professor of real estate and finance at the Wharton School; Lawrence J. White, Robert Kavesh professor of economics at NYU Stern School; Diana Reid, executive vice president of PNC Real Estate and Brian Montgomery, partner and co-founder of The Collingwood Group. Ted Chandler, chief operating officer of AFL-CIO Housing Investment Trust will also serve as a panel moderator.

The Policy Summit follows NHC’s annual Housing Person of the Year Gala, with a strong turnout expected in NHC’s 80th anniversary year. According to Maureen Friar, President and CEO of NHC, this year’s honorees, Professor Retsinas and Sister Lillian Murphy, CEO of Mercy Housing, were chosen because they represent the themes of commitment, vision and opportunity that have shaped housing policy in America. “We are pleased to honor the work of Nic and Sister Lillian at this event where we pledge to continue our commitment to provide safe, decent, affordable housing for all,” said Friar.  More than 600 people are expected to join NHC and industry leaders at the Gala.