Monday Morning Cup of Coffee: Cordray to face Financial Services Committee hearing


Monday Morning Cup of Coffee takes a look at news coming across HousingWire’s weekend desk, with more coverage to come on larger issues.

Sunday the world lit up blue for World Autism Awareness day, and here is a heartwarming story to start off your week.

But April is also National Fair Housing month. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development tweeted about the month and where you can go to learn more about fair housing rights.

HUD also tweeted about the roots of fair housing back in 1968, when President Lyndon Johnson enacted the Fair Housing Act on April 11.

Meanwhile the newly appointed HUD Secretary, Ben Carson, continues on his listening tour. His most recent stop brought him to Dallas. Read more about his visit here and here.

Later this week, the House Financial Services Committee will hold a hearing to receive semiannual reports from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

The hearing will take place in front of the full committee on Wednesday at 10 a.m. ET in the Rayburn House Office Building with CFPB Director Richard Cordray as the only witness.

A release from the committee explains that the Dodd-Frank Act requires the bureau director to publish a semiannual report on the bureau’s activities and to testify on the report before the House Financial Services and Senate Banking Committees.

From the release:

On June 30, 2016, the Bureau issued its ninth semiannual report to the President and Congress. The Report covers the Bureau’s activities from Oct. 1, 2015 through Mar. 31, 2016. On Dec. 15, 2016, the Bureau issued its tenth semiannual report to the President and Congress. The Report covers the Bureau’s activities from Apr. 1, 2016 through Sept. 30, 2016. This hearing will explore both reports.

However, this year promises to be more intense than in the past as the director is currently battling for the future of the bureau and perhaps his own job. In HousingWire’s most recent webinar, panelists discussed the future of the CFPB and while they said the regulator isn’t going anywhere, the bureau could look much different in the future.

In preparation for the hearing, Ballard Spahr wrote up a list of eight questions that the committee should ask Cordray during the hearing. To see those questions, click here.

But let’s hope this hearing goes better than the House Financial Services Committee’s last hearing on the CFPB, which served little purpose other than to stoke the growing flames between Democrats and Republicans.

This increasing uncertainty about the future of the CFPB is causing an uptick in mergers and acquisitions, one expert pointed out in a recent interview with HousingWire.

As the spring home-buying season begins, one unexpected factor is driving home prices even higher – the legalization of marijuana.

Legalized marijuana is increasing home prices in many markets, according to an article by David Gelles for The New York Times.  

From the article:

Because the marijuana business comes with added baggage, landlords and property owners are charging a premium for new tenants working in the cannabis business. In Quincy, Ermont is paying above market rate for the previously dilapidated 36,000-square-foot building.

“The landlord knew he was sitting on a gold mine,” said Zach Harvey, one of Ermont’s financial backers.

Read more about that here.

Keep reading HousingWire as we bring you the latest news on these developing trends. Have a great week!

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