Perspectives on the Health of the FHA Single-Family Insurance Fund

Testimony Before the House Committee on Financial Services

SOURCE: Center for American Progress

CAP Executive Vice President Sarah Rosen Wartell testifies before the House Committee on Financial Services. Read the testimony. (CAP Action)

Good morning Chairman Bachus, Ranking Member Frank, and members of the committee. Thank you for the opportunity to testify today about the financial status of the Federal Housing Administration’s Mutual Mortgage Insurance Fund. I applaud the chairman for convening this hearing to address this important topic.

I’d also like to take this opportunity to thank Ranking Member Frank for his more than 30 years of service in the U.S. Congress. Over the years, I have had the privilege of having my arguments tested and challenged by Rep. Frank a number of times and my positions were always much improved by his insights and razor-sharp questioning. I expect that after a productive year in the House in 2012, he will continue to challenge us all to do our best for American families from wherever he chooses to engage in the policy debate.

In the wake of the worst housing crisis in more than 80 years, concern has arisen that FHA could run out of money and require taxpayer support. Despite some inflated claims, today’s FHA does still have adequate funds to cover all expected losses with a small additional reserve (under the most widely subscribed assumptions about home values) and is expected to get stronger in the coming years. FHA’s immediate financial future, however, does rely upon stability in the U.S. housing market.

CAP Executive Vice President Sarah Rosen Wartell testifies before the House Committee on Financial Services. Read the testimony. (CAP Action)