Testimony: USMI Testifies on Housing Affordability: Governmental Barriers and Market-Based Solutions

December 6, 2023

Seth Appleton, President of U.S. Mortgage Insurers (USMI), the association representing the nation’s leading private mortgage insurance (MI) companies, testified before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Financial Services, Subcommittee on Housing and Insurance. The hearing titled, “Housing Affordability: Governmental Barriers and Market-Based Solutions” was held Wednesday, December 6, 2023, at 10:00 am E.T. and, per the Committee’s Memorandum, focused “on the continuing affordability challenges that many currently face in both the single-family housing and rental markets.”

In Appleton’s written testimony, USMI highlighted the following issues to be discussed during the hearing:

  • The role of private MI in enabling access to homeownership for borrowers without tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash for a large down payment, while protecting lenders, the government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs), and taxpayers;
  • The borrowers the private MI industry serves, who are primarily first-time, low- and moderate-income homebuyers lacking wealth for a large down payment, but benefit from sustainable homeownership and the opportunity to create intergenerational wealth;
  • The strength and resiliency of today’s private MI sector and how it contributes significantly to the overall stability of the housing finance system; and
  • Steps that policymakers could take to ensure that prospective homebuyers can continue to realize the American Dream of homeownership.

Other witnesses included Norbert Michel, Vice President and Director of the Center for Monetary and Financial Alternatives, CATO Institute; Emily Hamilton, Senior Research Fellow and Director of the Urbanity Project, the Mercatus Center at George Mason University; Arianna Royster, President, Borger Residential, on behalf of the National Apartment Association (NAA); and Diane Yentel, President and CEO, National Low Income Housing Coalition.


U.S. Mortgage Insurers (USMI) is dedicated to a housing finance system backed by private capital that enables access to housing finance for borrowers while protecting taxpayers. Mortgage insurance offers an effective way to make mortgage credit available to more people. USMI is ready to help build the future of homeownership. Learn more at www.usmi.org.

Opening Statement

Basel Endgame III Proposal

Benefits of private MI