Industry NewsMortgage

Fannie and Freddie may be graded on how well they support underserved markets

Proposed FHFA rule sets forth a plan to evaluate how well GSEs fulfill ‘duty-to-serve’ obligations
  • The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) has suggested a plan for government-sponsored enterprises Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to better support underserved markets.
  • The proposed rule aims to strike a balance between the financial stability of the enterprises and the needs of low-income families.
  • The FHFA is seeking the public's feedback on the rule. All comments are due by March 17, 2016.

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) is seeking public comments on a proposed rule that would require Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to submit detailed plans for how they support certain segments of the mortgage market that are traditionally underserved by private investors. Under the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008, the government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) have a duty to serve three specified, underserved markets -- manufactured housing, affordable housing preservation and rural markets. The objective is to increase the liquidity of mortgage investments and improve the distribution of investment capital available for low-income families in those markets. Proof of planning The FHFA’s proposed rule, which it published in the Federal Register on Dec. 15, would establish a method for evaluating and rating the GSEs’ compliance with their “duty to serve” each market. The FHFA was appointed conservator of Fannie and Freddie in 2008 to ensure they operate in...