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The Center’s Jeff Lubell on debt and the American household

At a public release of the 10th Heartland Monitor Poll, Jeff Lubell of the Center for Housing Policy brought housing to the center of the debate on America’s public and private debt. The poll, tenth in a series sponsored by Allstate and the National Journal, highlighted Americans’ views on both their own household’s debt and the nation’s debt. As one of the panelists at the event, Jeff brought out key points, including:

  • We are ripe for a grand bargain that combines long-term debt reduction with short-term stimulus with particular attention to the needs of low- and moderate-income Americans  
  • Foreclosed homes may provide an opportunity to create affordable housing, but they cannot substitute for essential multifamily rental housing, which relies on reliable mortgage finance, the Low Income Housing Tax Credit, and other key financing sources
  • We should not require all home buyers to put 20% down, but instead require proven underwriting techniques and tested loan products, so that mortgage credit is available broadly and provide opportunities to build household wealth
  • Policy-making based on evidence should be an ongoing priority, and we should build in to admittedly constrained budgets small amounts for ongoing, rigorous evaluation of what works and what doesn’t.

Watch video of the event (Lubell’s panel beings at 31:00 and lasts 75 minutes), see poll results and analysis and read a blog post by panel moderator Clive Crook at the Atlantic’s website.
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