The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) announced today the launch of a new strategic initiative to help develop stronger and more effective affordable housing partnerships in both the policy and business arenas. The objective of these partnerships will be to promote more sustainable, affordable homes for purchase and rental for underserved people and communities, especially minorities and low-to-moderate-income Americans.
“The lack of affordable housing is presenting significant challenges to families across the country. We need to explore how the lending community can better partner with public, private, and non-profit stakeholders to ensure more Americans have access to homes they can afford,” said MBA President and CEO Robert D. Broeksmit, CMB. “As the trade association representing the full breadth and depth of the mortgage lending community, MBA should, and will, be a leader in finding innovative solutions.”
Steve O’Connor, a 23-year veteran of MBA and currently its Senior Vice President for Public Policy and Industry Relations, will assume the new role as Senior Vice President for Affordable Housing Initiatives.
“Steve is uniquely qualified to lead this new initiative,” added Broeksmit. “He knows our members, he knows the issues, and he has strong relationships with a broad group of stakeholders, including affordable housing groups, consumer advocates, and civil rights organizations. Steve has a real passion and drive when it comes to addressing the needs of underserved markets.”
O’Connor currently leads MBA’s Consumer Affairs Advisory Council and serves on a number of industry boards, including the National Housing Conference, the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals, the Homeownership Council of America, Quicken Loans’ Consumer Advisory Council, Freddie Mac’s Affordable Housing Advisory Council, and the National Urban League’s Business Solutions Council.
“Housing affordability is an issue facing millions of Americans, both those who rent and those who want to buy a home,” said O’Connor. “There is no easy solution. The only way we are going to solve this is by getting lenders together with policymakers, consumer advocates, community leaders, and other stakeholders, and using our collective knowledge and experience to find the answers.”
Under O’Connor’s leadership, MBA is developing a work plan set around a series of objectives designed to better understand the nature of the problem and why previous efforts have failed, and to build and nurture partnerships in support of affordable housing policy and business practices.