5 House freshmen to watch on housing issues


WASHINGTON—Look no further than the slate of interesting additions to the House Financial Services Committee to see the future of the policy debate around housing.

The 21 new members of the committee are poised to tackle housing alongside Chair Maxine Waters, D-Calif., and Rep. Patrick McHenry, R-N.C., and some bring notable qualifications to the table, with extensive backgrounds in consumer protection or experience authoring legislation to benefit homeowners.

Waters has emphasized that affordable housing and homelessness are among her priorities at the helm of the committee, while McHenry has expressed an interest in tackling the government conservatorship of mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Observers have pointed to housing as an area that could lend itself to bipartisan compromise in this Congress, as Waters will need Republican support to ensure the survival of her legislation in the Republican-held Senate. The committee’s leadership could find partners in several of incoming freshmen, some of whom have already vowed to their constituents that they will use their post on the powerful congressional committee to secure more affordable housing opportunities and protect the rights of property owners.

While the Financial Services Committee’s agenda has not been unveiled, here are some players who — given their backgrounds — are likely to be prominent voices in the housing space:

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