Senator urges Fannie and Freddie regulator to support clean energy retrofits

Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., sent a letter to the acting director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency today, urging the agency to support California’s Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) programs, which would allow homeowners and businesses to pay for energy-efficient upgrades through a property tax assessment that is repaid over a number of years.

In 2010, the FHFA, which regulates mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, claimed the PACE assessments violated securities agreements by imposing a first lien, ahead of lenders, on participating properties and thereby blocked most homeowners from taking advantage of the programs, Boxer said.

Today, however, California Gov. Jerry Brown created a reserve fund to make Fannie and Freddie “whole” should they incur losses due to the first-lien status of PACE assessments in a foreclosure of a PACE property, Boxer wrote in her letter.

“California’s new policy directly addresses FHFA’s previous concerns by effectively removing all risk of loss to the enterprises and taxpayers based on a PACE lien.”

Source: U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer’s Press Office