AFR joins a letter to the White House and the Council of the Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency (CIGIE), calling on President Biden to nominate individuals to fill the fourteen open inspector general positions by June 1, 2021. Inspectors general are a linchpin of government accountability yet fourteen of the seventy-four total offices of the inspectors general are vacant. The ongoing response to COVID-19 has demonstrated the importance of using all available mechanisms within the federal government to ensure proper oversight and accountability of government programs.
AFR released housing policy recommendations to promote equitable housing access for all people in the United States, minimize pervasive harm from the COVID-19 pandemic, hold predatory actors accountable, and expand sustainable opportunities in communities of color.
New Report: Where the Rubber Meets the Road: How a global tire titan got millions in pandemic small business loans
Case study of a South Carolina tire factory owned by a global corporation that received a substantial loan from the Small Business Administration for pandemic relief while many genuinely small businesses were unable to access the program.
Letters to Regulators: Letter in Response to the Federal Reserve Board’s ANPR on the Community Reinvestment Act
Americans for Financial Reform Education Fund organized a letter to the Federal Reserve Board (FRB) in response to their advanced notice of proposed rule making (ANPR) on the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA). The letter outlined a number of guiding principles and approaches to ensure that any changes to the CRA framework would be limited to measures that will increase equity in bank investments and access to sustainable, wealth-building credit in underserved communities as the statute intended.
AFR joined a letter strongly supporting the Force Arbitration Injustice Repeal Act (FAIR Act). The letter stated that the legislation would ensure that workers, consumers, servicemembers, nursing home residents, ordinary investors, and small businesses harmed by bad actors will be able to bring valid claims in court, and would not be forced into private, secretive, corporate-controlled arbitration systems required by nonnegotiable contracts. It argued for the particular need for Congress to move forward with this legislation in light of the economic hardship facing working families during the pandemic.
Letters to Congress: Letter Urging Congress to Provide Greater Assistance for Homeowners in COVID Relief Plan
AFR joined a letter urging Congress to expand assistance to homeowners in the upcoming COVID-19 relief package. The letter, which followed a previous letter to the Biden Administration urging for similar protections, requested that the upcoming COVID relief package include $25 billion for direct assistance to homeowners, with the bulk of the funds deployed through state housing finance agencies through the Homeowner Assistance Fund and including at least $100 million for housing counseling and $39.7 million for the Fair Housing Initiatives Program.
NEWS RELEASE: Advocates Applaud Senate Bill Fund to Help Millions of Families Keep Their Homes; Urge Inclusion in Covid Stimulus Bill
“Facing the most economic distress and illness, low-income families and communities of color are most at risk of losing their homes to foreclosure without relief. The Homeowner Assistance Fund is a necessary measure to stem the impending foreclosure crisis and prevent devastating losses for families and neighborhoods.”
Americans for Financial Reform joined a letter to the Biden administration highlighting the critical budget-related items that would help consumers in any upcoming Covid legislation. The letter urged President Biden to halt garnishment and offset certain tax refunds, fund a Housing Assistance Fund and housing counseling, and cancel student debt.
Joint Letter: Letter Urging the Biden Administration to Provide Greater Assistance for Homeowners in COVID Relief Plan
AFR joined a letter urging President-Elect Biden to expand assistance to homeowners in the upcoming COVID-19 relief package. The letter called on the Biden administration to support the establishment of a Housing Assistance Fund, provide funding for HUD-approved housing counseling agencies and legal assistance, and to support several legislative measures to prevent the coming tsunami of foreclosures that likely will be concentrated in low-income communities and communities of color.
Letters to Regulators: Joint Letter Opposing the VA’s Proposed COVID-19 Veterans Assistance Partial Claim Payment Program
AFR Education Fund signed onto a letter opposing the VA’s Proposed COVID-19 Veterans Assistance Partial Claim Payment Program. The letter stated that the proposal cannot achieve its goal of providing a solution for veteran borrowers’ COVID hardships, and urged the VA to revise the proposal to align with existing programs at FHA, USDA, and the Government Sponsored Enterprises. Specifically, the letter stated that the VA should not require monthly payments, funds should not accrue interest, access to the program should be streamlined, and the program should not have a limited time window for relief.