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WASHINGTON-Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Alphonso Jackson expressed concern that previous comments he had made to a credit union group were taken out of context in the press. Though he did not cite the publication, during remarks to America’s Community Bankers Government Affairs Conference last week, Jackson joked about how what a person can say turns out in print, referring to media that quoted him saying that credit unions were more in touch with their communities than their banker counterparts. “Community banks are as closely involved in their communities as credit unions. Without either one, or without both, it would be harder for many people to have accessibility,” Jackson told the bankers to a round of applause. In turn, he applauded the community bankers for the role they played in keeping America’s economy afloat during rough times through mortgage lending and helping to close the minority homeownership gap. While minority homeownership is up to 51.2%, 70% of Americans own their own homes. “I want to challenge you because we can do a lot better,” he said. Regarding reform of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act, the HUD secretary said the department would not move without consensus on the reforms. He would not predict when something would be ready, stating, “I’m more concerned with doing it right than doing it fast.”

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