Typically, after a major public figure dies, folks maintain an unspoken decorum. You don’t slime the dead.
Alas, nobody told the National Association of Realtors (NAR), which already has a midget-sized reputation following the collapse of the housing bubble.
Monday, the NAR put out a press release recognising Kemp’s “Contribution to Homeownership.”*
“Assuming the reins of HUD during a turbulent time, Mr. Kemp was able to restore the agency’s reputation, which had been battered over the years. During his tenure, he advocated the need for public housing tenant ownership, increased subsidies for low-income renters, expanded social services for the homeless and elderly, and tax changes to help first-time home buyers.
“As a result of the groundwork he laid at HUD, the Home Investment Partnerships Program (HOME) was created. HOME helps states and localities create new affordable housing by providing block grants for use with low-income housing tax credits and other programs. The program’s success continues to this day.
Gosh, NAR! Can’t you lay off him for one day? People are still remembering him (typically fondly, especially in the mainstream media) and you’re already reminding people of his time at HUD, and his moves to subsidise and expand homeownership among potentially dubious borrowers.
C’mon NAR, how about letting him rest before painting him as an architect of the housing bubble.
Besides, at least according to one analysis, Kemp’s initiatives at HUD didn’t result in that much expanded lending — despite the headlines — so NAR, stop trying to drag him down!
*It’s possible that NAR genuinely meant to praise Kemp. Maybe.