During testimony before Congress on Thursday, lawmakers expressed concern to Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell that the central bank’s policies are decreasing Americans’ access to affordable housing.
In his prepared remarks, Powell said that inflation “has increased notably and will likely remain elevated in coming months before moderating.” However, Powell said that such inflation is temporary — and he did not reveal any intention to scale back the Fed’s $120 billion monthly bond purchases, which increase the supply of dollars in the interest of stimulating the economy.
Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA) questioned Powell on the Fed’s policy to buy a monthly $40 billion in mortgage-backed securities — which represents one-third of the $120 billion stimulus package.
“Housing prices across the U.S. as a whole increased in May by more than 15% from the previous year,” said Toomey. “15% clearly is making housing less affordable, more out-of-reach for more people.”
Toomey noted that leaders within the Federal Reserve Banks of St. Louis,