affordable housing

FHFA Issues Proposed Rule on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Duty to Serve Underserved Markets

On December 15, 2015, the Federal Housing Finance Agency issued a proposed rule that would require Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to provide specific services relating to manufactured housing, affordable housing preservation and rural markets.  The proposed rule would also require Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to address financing concerns in very low- to moderate-income families in those areas. Press release.

Housing Finance Reform: House Hearing and Administration Proposal

On February 9, the House Financial Services Committee held a hearing on GSE reform with a focus on immediate steps to protect taxpayers and end the bailout. On February 11, the Obama administration released a white paper on housing finance reform, outlining its plan to: (i) reduce government support for housing finance and wind down Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac on a responsible timeline; (ii) address fundamental flaws in the mortgage market to protect borrowers, ensure transparency, and increase the role of private capital; and (iii) target the government’s support for affordable housing in a more effective and transparent manner. The proposal also sets forth longer-term reform choices for structuring the government’s future role in the housing market. Congressional Hearing Link. Treasury Release. White Paper.  HFS Testimony and Archived Webcast.

Treasury/HUD Conference on the Future of Housing Finance

On August 7, Treasury Secretary Geithner made opening remarks at the Conference on the Future of Housing Finance.  Secretary Geithner outlined four key questions underlying the approach to housing finance reform: (i) what role the government should play to provide stability in the housing finance system, (ii) what role the government should play in providing financial support to improve access to affordable housing, (iii) how to manage the securitization market, and (iv) how to manage the transition into a new housing finance system.  Secretary Geithner also highlighted the need for government involvement in providing a form of guarantee or insurance in a reformed system, noting that any government guarantee should be priced to cover the risk of losses and structured to minimize taxpayer exposure. HUD Secretary Donovan followed Secretary Geithner’s remarks and focused on policy issues and the broader social impact of housing finance. Secretary Geithner’s Remarks. Secretary Donovan’s Remarks.