NAACP, LaRaza: Civil Rights Groups Push Confirmation of Watt to Lead FHFA

NAACP, LaRaza: Civil Rights Groups Push Confirmation of Watt to Lead FHFA


A long list of civil rights groups endorsed Mel Watt to be the next Director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency.  Below is the letter sent to Sen. Tim Johnson who is the Chair of the Senate Banking Committee. 


July 15, 2013

Confirm Congressman Melvin Watt to Direct the Federal Housing Finance Agency

The Honorable Tim Johnson


Banking, Housing, & Urban Affairs Committee

United States Senate

Washington, DC 20510

The Honorable Mike Crapo

Ranking Member

Banking, Housing, & Urban Affairs Committee

United States Senate

Washington, DC 20510

Dear Chairman Johnson and Ranking Member Crapo:

The civil rights organizations signed below write to urge you and fellow Banking,

Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee members to move quickly to confirm

Congressman Melvin Watt to a five-year term as Director of the Federal Housing Finance

Agency. Congressman Watt is a substantially qualified nominee to lead the FHFA and

has an exceptional understanding of financial markets and an appreciation for the crucial

role that FHFA plays in stabilizing and strengthening our economy.

Mr. Watt was one of the first to warn against the predatory mortgage lending practices

that characterized the boom in subprime lending that devastated our entire economy. He

helped to lead the effort to end these often discriminatory lending practices that caused

the collapse of our financial system and led to the Great Recession. Congressman Watt

called for safety, soundness and fairness to prevail over the blind rush for short-term


American families continue to reel from the foreclosure crisis. Congressman Watt has

demonstrated a commitment to helping communities that have been hardest hit by the

foreclosure crisis, so that they too can share in our economic recovery. A hard lesson

from the crisis is that when some of our communities do not receive fair treatment, all of

our communities are impacted detrimentally. Our global competitiveness is challenged

when all of our communities do not have the opportunity to succeed together. Mr. Watt’s

leadership would assure that the American public continues to have access to wealthbuilding

opportunities through homeownership and would ensure access to much needed

rental housing at a time when communities of color have suffered a massive loss of

wealth built over a generation.

Confirm Congressman Melvin Watt to Lead the FHFA

Throughout his career, Congressman Watt has proven that he is a fair, principled and

effective leader whose policy positions are based on consumer and market needs. He

understands how important it is for the secondary mortgage market to provide liquidity

for all market segments, including those that historically have been underserved, in a way

that promotes healthy, responsible growth for the entire country. He is eminently

qualified for this job, and we urge the Senate to move quickly to confirm his nomination.


American Association of People with Disabilities

American Federation of Government Employees

Asian Americans Advancing Justice

Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law

Center for Responsible Lending

Communications Workers of America

Community Action Partnership

Hip Hop Caucus

International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace & Agricultural Implement Workers

of America (UAW)

The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights


NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund, Inc.

National Association of Consumer Advocates

National Association of Human Rights Workers (NAHRW)

National Association of Neighborhoods

National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education

National Bar Association

National Black Justice Coalition

National Center for Lesbian Rights

National Coalition for Asian Pacific American Community Development (National


National Council of La Raza

National Disability Rights Network

National Fair Housing Alliance

National Gay and Lesbian Task Force

National Low Income Housing Coalition

National Organization for Women

National Urban League

New Bottom Line

The Opportunity Agenda


Poverty & Race Research Action Council

United Food and Commercial Workers, International

United Steelworkers (USW)