January 21, 2021

Despite big challenges, our faith in the future endures

Why Redwood Trust believes the months ahead hold promise, despite the tests our nation faces

By Chris Abate

As 2021 takes shape, my colleagues and I at Redwood are excited about the work in front of us, as financing homes for American families is a commitment to faith in the future. Having come through a challenging 2020, we believe the months ahead hold promise, despite the tests our nation faces.

From an ongoing pandemic to civic unrest, continued economic underperformance and dislocation for so many families, it might seem odd to begin the new year with such optimism. Even once Covid-19 vaccines are rolled out across the country, life may not feel normal again for some time. And like most Americans, we’re disturbed by how the social fabric has been stretched over a tumultuous election and its aftermath.

At the same time, we’re heartened by the continuity of a new administration taking office. We are awed by the many ways Americans have supported each other through an unprecedented moment in our nation’s history. And we are confident in our nation’s future and in our ability, as a housing finance company, to contribute to a better tomorrow by helping more Americans access a place to call home.

As last year progressed, the housing market gathered strength, powered by historically low interest rates even as the ongoing affordability crisis for American families continued. By adding liquidity to both the owner-occupied and rental markets, Redwood stepped up, providing support to mortgage originators and investors in rental housing alike. We’re proud of how we navigated a challenging market and emerged to better service American communities, families and businesses that benefit from our unique approach to housing finance.

Following the outgoing administration’s 2019 release of a blueprint for how the housing finance market might evolve, we had expected more progress on the issue in 2020. Then came Covid-19, the impact of which was felt in every corner of the economy, including housing policy. The Biden Administration will be the fourth since the 2008 financial crisis to hold office, and we understand economic policymakers are grappling with many daunting issues. At some point soon, it will once again be appropriate to address matters like a permanent structure for the GSEs.

In the meantime, we’ll continue to share our vision for the role of government and ways by which underserved borrowers can better participate in the housing market. We know there is more that we can do, and as we are confident in our nation’s future, so too are we confident in Redwood’s abilities to fulfill our mission. In the weeks ahead, we’ll tell you more about how we view the housing market in America, and the opportunities we see to fulfill our mission to make quality housing, whether it is rented or owned, accessible to all Americans.

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