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If you couldn’t make the ULI Fall Meeting and Urban Land Expo this week at the DC Convention Center, don’t fret—we’ve got you covered. Bisnow reporters from Chicago, New York, and DC descended on the nation's capital to bring you the latest analysis and trends from top industry experts.
Henry Cisneros, Bart Harvey, Steve Preston, Ron Terwilliger
In the opening general session, panelists told a crowd of 4,000 that the American dream won't involve homeownership for everybody. Former HUD Secretary Henry Cisneros says the government should focus on creating policies that allow for more decent rental housing near public transit, while Enterprise Community Partners' Bart Harvey says rental housing affordability hasn't increased because of complications the patchwork of government programs created to help out low-income renters. Former HUD Secretary Steve Preston says the government has spent $48B on housing programs this year, but the lack of definition in the programs hasn't increased home building, which is crucial to creating jobs. Trammell Crow Residential's Ron Terwilliger says his company hasn't delivered any new units in 2009 or 2010 so far, and that eventually the 35% of Americans who rent will need more than the 75k units that are being delivered annually.
Sheila Bair
Keynote speaker FDIC's Sheila Bair doesn't think lenders have learned their lesson, since she's still getting mail about 3.75% fixed-rate loans for 125% LTV. With 2.4M housing loans in foreclosure and another 2.7M more than 60 days past due, she says lenders need to move away from their lax underwriting, and robo-signers have underscored the problem. She encouraged commercial lenders to restructure some of the $1.4 trillion in commercial loans coming due over the last few years, if necessary. The Dodd-Frank Act should improve the ratings system across the board, preventing the financial crisis from taking such a serious turn again.