The Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) has launched a new commission to address the long-term challenges facing a struggling housing sector.

The BPC Housing Commission will be led by former U.S. Secretaries of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Henry Cisneros and Mel Martinez, former U.S. Senator Kit Bond and former U.S. Senate Majority Leader and BPC Founder George Mitchell.

“By conducting robust, evidenced-based analysis to inform our deliberations and recommendations and seeking input from the public and thought leaders around the country, I believe we can accomplish that same goal with the Housing Commission we are launching today,” said Cisneros at the launch.

“The American Dream of homeownership recently turned into a nightmare for many families and, in turn, our neighborhoods, communities, and entire economy suffered. Solving these issues and addressing long-term questions on the role of government in housing will be no small stump to jump, but we cannot afford to fail,” said former U.S. Senator Kit Bond.

The commission was announced as President Obama made his way through a three day tour of Western U.S. states, to talk about, in part, the housing crisis and new administration plans to offer relief.

The BPC Housing Commission will draw on housing experts, business leaders, former elected officials, academics and other key stakeholders. It will also host public forums, the first of which will be held in San Antonio, Texas in March 2012.

The commission will meet for the first time in December 2011 and will release its findings early 2013.

The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation is providing financial support to the commission.