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Community Development

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Volume 21, Number 1, 2011

Mortgage Foreclosures and the Future of Housing Finance: Excerpts from Remarks by Chairman Ben S. Bernanke


The concept of homeownership as a rite of passage into adulthood burrowed its way into the American psyche a long time ago. Despite the recent housing crisis, homeownership is still an integral part of the American dream. According to Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke, "Any discussion of housing policy in this country must begin with some recognition of the importance Americans attach to homeownership."

The most recent issue of Partners in Community and Economic Development highlights Bernanke's welcome remarks at a joint conference cosponsored by the Federal Reserve System and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation on October 25, 2010, in Arlington, Va. The conference was held to highlight policy-oriented research on U.S. housing and mortgage markets.

Bernanke described the work that Federal Reserve staff in research, community development, and supervision and regulation have done to support foreclosure prevention and promote neighborhood stabilization. He pointed to the Mortgage Outreach and Research Effort (MORE), an initiative developed under the leadership of Chicago Fed president Charles Evans. Under MORE, all 12 Federal Reserve Banks and the Board of Governors are pooling resources and combining expertise "to inform and engage policymakers, community organizations, financial institutions, and the public at large."

In addition, all the Feds have an online Foreclosure Resource Center that presents links to others web pages with information on foreclosure-related resources. A Foreclosure Mitigation Toolkit on these sites provides detailed steps and information for localities seeking to develop foreclosure prevention activities. Bernanke said the Federal Reserve "will continue to encourage further research, participate in discussions, and coordinate work among groups striving for sustainable homeownership and the recovery of the housing markets," according to the article.

To read more excerpts from Bernanke's welcoming remarks at the conference on Mortgage Foreclosures and the Future of Housing, read the full article in Partners, now available in print and online. For the full text of these remarks, go to http://www.federalreserve.gov/newsevents/speech/bernanke20101025a.htm.