You Can’t Ignore Politics

November 2, 2020

We’re the first half of November, and with it the election. The events and speeches coming out of Washington DC, and the campaign rallies, are grabbing the headlines. Who wins the election doesn’t impact Orion’s brokers clients either financing the home of their dreams or saving money by refinancing. Housing isn’t one of the hot topics on the campaign trail, but the outcome of the election could have a profound impact on the housing market so Orion believes it is in our client’s best interests to be aware of what the two primary candidates think about it.

President Donald Trump hasn’t laid out any detailed, forward-looking proposals for housing policy, but does have a record he is running on. Donald Trump would like to privatize Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac by 2024, probably not a good thing for interest rates. He has rolled back key housing discrimination laws, and has created “opportunity zones.” He has lowered the mortgage interest deduction and relieved measures in the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA). President Trump has stripped the CFPB’s enforcement powers over the Office of Fair Lending and Equal Opportunity, but signed an executive order to potentially extend a federal rental eviction moratorium.

Former Vice President Joe Biden has ambitious housing policy goals outlined on his website. His campaign released a detailed $640 billion housing plan, and is recommending the creation of a new advanceable tax credit of up to $15,000 to increase homeownership. He’d like to establish a new Homeowner and Renter Bill of Rights and a national standard for home appraisals to fight racial housing wealth gap. He lists creating a public credit reporting agency, and wants to fully fund Section 8 vouchers. Candidate Biden would like to increase accountability for discriminatory practices in the housing market and strengthen and expand the Community Reinvestment Act.

In terms of what has happened in the recent past, Biden would like to roll back Trump Administration policies gutting fair lending and fair housing protections for homeowners, invest in a $100 billion Affordable Housing Fund to develop affordable housing, and enact legislation requiring any state receiving federal dollars through the Community Development Block Grants or Surface Transportation Block Grants to develop a strategy for inclusionary zoning.

Also listed on the website are the expansion of the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit, ensuring that rural communities have access to affordable homes, and pursuing a comprehensive approach to ending homelessness.

Regardless of who wins, Congress will be involved in housing policy. And Orion’s brokers will continue to help your clients as best you know how, providing superior service, competitive pricing, and programs tailored to your clients circumstances!

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