Low Down-Payment Mortgage Lending: What is the Safe Path Forward?

New homebuyers are likely to play an important role in a sustained housing recovery, provided they can get access to good mortgages. High down payment requirements are a known barrier to homeownership for households who do not have extensive assets but are otherwise creditworthy. Mortgages with down payments of less than 20% down, when structured right, have provided a safe bridge to homeownership and the middle class for many decades. However, in well-intentioned efforts to prevent another mortgage crisis, regulators and policymakers may make it much harder, if not impossible, to buy homes with lower down payments.

Please join us to discuss these complicated issues with a panel of experts in the field. Are high down payments necessary to reduce risk? What will be the impact of instituting an 80 LTV requirement in the Qualified Residential Mortgage Rule? In a world where credit is tighter, how can low-wealth families access homeownership? What does the research tell us?

Featured Panelists:

Thomas Callahan, Executive Director, Massachusetts Affordable Housing Alliance

Mark Goldhaber, Principal, Goldhaber Policy Services, LLC

Michael P. Kelly, Director, Department of Housing and Community Development, District of Columbia

Janneke Ratcliffe, Senior Fellow, Center for American Progress

Moderated by:

Joe Valenti, Director of Asset Building, Center for American Progress


Center for American Progress, 1333 H St. NW, 10th Floor, Washington, DC , 20005

Additional information

A light lunch will be served at 11:30 a.m.