- The Trump administration may privatize Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac — and it could disrupt the nation’s housing-finance system
- A sudden end to conservatorship could disrupt the mortgage market
- Privatizing Fannie and Freddie would limit Biden’s influence
- The Trump administration’s new plan to privatize Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, explained
- This is unfinished business from the George W. Bush administration
- Hedge funds are hoping for a payday
- Mnuchin wants privatization — plus a government guarantee
- Changing the system requires congressional action
- Trump admin proposes overhaul of FHA, Freddie and Fannie
- HUD reforms
- Ending Fannie and Freddie’s conservatorship
- The plan draws some criticism
The Trump administration may privatize Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac — and it could disrupt the nation’s housing-finance system
(Photo by Astrid Riecken – Pool/Getty Images
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have been kept in conservatorship limbo for over a decade now. But the Trump administration may move to end that before leaving office in January.
In the wake of the government bailouts of Fannie Mae FNMA, and Freddie Mac FMCC, , the housing-finance giants were placed into conservatorship. The Federal Housing Finance Agency, a new regulator, was created to oversee the two companies’ operations as the companies recovered from the subprime-mortgage crisis and repaid the federal government.
In that time, Fannie and Freddie’s shareholders — other thanthe federal government — have gone without even a single dividend payment. Formost of this time, Fannie and Freddie’s profits have been swept to the TreasuryDepartment.
Conservatorship was not intended to be a permanent thing. In April 2019, Vice President Mike Pence’s former chief economist, Mark Calabria, was confirmed as the director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, the main regulator overseeing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Since assuming that post, Calabria has moved to lay the groundwork needed to get the two companies conservatorship.
Don’t miss: What a Biden administration will mean for housing-finance reform
But with President Trump’s loss in the elections earlierthis month, a wrench was thrown in those plans. Former Vice President Joe Bidenis unly to be in any hurry to move Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac theircurrent arrangement.
Faced with that reality, Calabria appears to be considering a plan to move Fannie and Freddie conservatorship before the inauguration, according to a report from The Wall Street Journal.
Depending on how the exit is orchestrated, it could have a major impact on the housing finance ecosystem.
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are not mortgage lenders — they buy and securitize mortgage loans, providing a crucial inflow of capital.
All told, nearly half of all mortgages created in the first quarter of 2020 (47%) were backed by Fannie and Freddie, according to data from Inside Mortgage Finance and the Urban Institute.
“Director Calabria has previously been quoted as saying thathe believed the GSEs would be able to successfully exit the conservatorshipsometime in 2022,” said Rick Sharga, a mortgage industry veteran and executivevice president at real-estate analytics firm RealtyTrac. “Accelerating the exitby at least a year seems ambitious at best, and risky at worst, given thecritical role Fannie and Freddie play in providing mortgage market liquidityand stability.”
The approach Calabria is ly to take doesn’t requirecongressional approval — but would need the support of Treasury SecretarySteven Mnuchin.
Last week, the FHFA released its finalized capital requirementsfor Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, setting the minimum target for equity that thetwo companies should have to give themselves a buffer in a future economicdownturn.
Altogether, the two enterprises should hold around $283 billion.Currently though, they only have around $35 billion in capital, largely due tothe many years during which they swept all their profits to the federalgovernment.
Under typical circumstances, Fannie Mae and Freddie Macwould need to hit that capital target before being privatized — a hefty goal.
But the FHFA could circumvent that formality by entering into a consent orderwith the two companies, said Jim Parrott, a nonresident fellow at the UrbanInstitute and owner of Parrott Ryan Advisors, a consulting firm that provides adviceon housing finance issues to financial institutions.
A consent order “is an agreement between the regulator andthe regulated entity where the regulator retains heightened oversight authority”until certain requirements are met, Parrott said. In this case, that would beFannie and Freddie being recapitalized. The order would map out a plan forFannie and Freddie to achieve that goal.
Calabria’s stance is that ending conservatorship should bedriven by milestones rather than the calendar, an FHFA spokesman said.
To do this through consent order, the FHFA would needTreasury to sign off. The federal government, through the Treasury Department,owns over $200 billion in preferred shares of Fannie and Freddie. It’s throughthose shares that the Treasury Department received dividend payments in thepast to recoup the funds used to bail the firms out.
“One of the terms of the backstop they now have between Treasury and [Fannie and Freddie] is that Treasury has to sign off on it,” Parrott said.
It is unclear whether or not Mnuchin would support this measure, the Journal reported.
Analysts believe that Biden’s Treasury Department would be unly to agree to such a plan — though it is not clear what opinions Biden’s rumored pick for Treasury Secretary, Janet Yellen, has on the matter.
If a consent order were to affect Treasury’s preferredshares in Fannie or Freddie, that could come at the taxpayers’ expense. Back inOctober, Sen. Mark Warner, a Democrat from Virginia, and Sen. Michael Rounds, aRepublican from South Dakota, sent a letter to Mnuchin and Calabria expressingtheir concerns that taxpayers “are fully paid for any loss of ownership.”
Modifying Treasury’s shares would be critical in helping torecapitalize Fannie and Freddie, since it will be difficult to reach the levelsrequired by the FHFA without considering a public offering of stock. As itstands now, though, Fannie and Freddie shares hold little attractiveness toinvestors since the conditions of the conservatorship mean they don’t receive adividend.
Overall, there are many “details that would need to be nailed down in a relatively short period of time — and during a pandemic, which is again threatening the economy and may require Treasury’s participation in negotiating a second government stimulus package,” Sharga said.
A sudden end to conservatorship could disrupt the mortgage market
The mortgage market doesn’t react positively to surprises or disruptions, to put it plainly. Last August, the FHFA announced it would be imposing a new 0.5% “adverse market” fee on refinance mortgages bought by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The fee is intended to recoup money lost due to the forbearance that was extended to millions of homeowners affected by the COVID-19 crisis.
Originally, the FHFA said the fee would go into effect Sept. 1, just a couple weeks after it was announced.
The news was met with criticism across the banking industry, as mortgage lenders took umbrage at the prospect of being charged the fee for loans where the rates had been locked in weeks prior.
The FHFA eventually moved to delay the fee’s roll-out until Dec. 1, but before that announcement came mortgage rates began to increase.
“The announcement by the [Federal Housing Finance Agency] to apply a 0.
5% fee to all mortgage refinance loans was one that caught lenders off guard, placing many in a difficult financial spot and forcing them to raise rates across the board — even for purchase loans, which aren’t directly affected by the new policy — in order to cover their losses,” Matthew Speakman, an economist with Zillow ZG, +0.56%, said at the time.
While mortgage rates did eventually drop back down, beforedecreasing to new lows, the saga surrounding the “adverse market” fee points tothe industry’s distaste for change.
Meanwhile, the housing industry has represented a significantsilver lining amid the economic crisis sparked by the coronavirus pandemic.While home sales activity slowed in the first few months of the pandemic, itroared back this summer.
Record-low mortgage rates have fueled higher demandamong home buyers, driving home prices upward.
The home-buying frenzy in recentmonths has helped to stimulate the economy more broadly, as Americans havespent money to spruce up or renovate their homes before listing them for sale.
Even a minor disruption to the housing-finance ecosystem could spoil that. “It would be extremely disruptive to the housing-finance system at a terrible time,” Parrott said.
Rising COVID-19 cases threaten to set back the economic recovery from the pandemic or even create a second wave of job losses.
Meanwhile, Congress has struggled to pass additional stimulus, and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has withdrawn emergency lending funds from the Federal Reserve.
“Here in the middle of all thatyou would have a move that would unnerve [mortgage-backed securities] investors,and that would ly drive up the cost of a mortgage because of MBS investor angst— all of that would be happening at exactly the wrong time, when policymakersare trying to do exactly the opposite,” Parrott said.
Privatizing Fannie and Freddie would limit Biden’s influence
It’s not clear what authority theFHFA would retain under a consent order to guide the decisions made by Fannieand Freddie on where to direct lending.
“Once you pull them conservatorship, it just gets a lot more complicated because they function more normal, privately-owned institutions that have a great autonomy and independence,” Parrott said. “The Biden administration would possibly lose a really critical source for affecting housing-policy outcomes.”
Right now, the FHFA has a lot ofjurisdiction to set affordable-housing targets and other requirements thatFannie and Freddie lend to a more diverse pool of borrowers.
Indeed, the actions the FHFA hastaken under Calabria could lead to fewer mortgages being backed by Fannie andFreddie. The new capital requirements announced last week could causesignificant upheaval in the weeks and months to come.
Calabria argues the FHFA pursued the capital requirements to fulfill its statutory duties.
“FHFA has the statutory authority and responsibility to put the Enterprises in a safe and sound financial condition, capable of remaining well-capitalized and well-regulated outside of conservatorship, while furthering the missions for which they were created,” Calabria said in his annual report to Congress this year.
Because more of Fannie and Freddie’sprofits must go now toward building their capital reserves, less money can bedirected back to lenders. It also reduces the incentives for Fannie and Freddieto sell off their risk through credit-risk transfer deals, which could makethem riskier institutions, Parrott said.
“It will be more expensive forthose who get a mortgage that is bought by Fannie and Freddie — the cost of themortgage will go up,” Parrott said. “So you end up with these institutions thatwill be not as supportive of the market generally, because they’ll be smallerand providing more expensive access to credit.”
Wealthier borrowers might be priced Fannie and Freddie loans, but the money earned through these borrowers helps to subsidize lower-cost mortgages to lower-income households.
Without those subsidies, low-income households may need to turn to other loan products, such as FHA loans, which are often more expensive.
Before the capital rule was finalized, a group of consumer-advocacy organizations issued to a letter criticizing it for these reasons.
“The proposal would have adisproportionate impact on people of color, intensifying pricing disparitiesand making mortgage credit more expensive and less available, thereby aggravatingthe racial wealth gap,” the letter stated.
The Biden administration may beable to roll them back if it’s able to appoint a new FHFA director, pending theresults of an upcoming Supreme Court case.
“The Biden administration,presumably, is going to want to get all regulators aligned around policyefforts that are pushing in the same direction,” Parrott said.
The Trump administration’s new plan to privatize Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, explained
Photo by Peter Summers/Getty Images
The Trump administration has a new plan to re-privatize the mortgage groups Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac — reversing one of the first actions taken to address the 2008 financial crisis and raising the prospect of a fundamental reworking of the multi-trillion-dollar market in mortgage-backed securities. The plan is on the table in part because the 2008 nationalization was a stopgap measure that few really wanted.
But Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are still with us in this form 11 years and two presidents later. One reason is conservatives spent the better part of a decade pushing to get the government entirely the mortgage business — a step that could have meant huge changes for how American homeownership works, possibly including the death of the traditional 30-year mortgage.
Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin’s blueprint would abandon that libertarian dream, seeking instead to take Fannie and Freddie public control while minimizing disruption to the mortgage market. That means formally admitting that these companies will be bailed-out again if they get into trouble, with a new regulatory structure designed to prevent those bailouts from being costly to taxpayers.
This raises the big picture question of why bother to go through privatization at all if the goal is mostly to keep things the same.
Hanging over that question is the struggle of a handful of hedge fund managers (several of whom are allied to President Donald Trump) to secure a huge payday for themselves.
The Treasury blueprint leaves that topic — and several other crucial related ones — hazy, even while including a somewhat detailed wish list of unrelated conservative regulatory reforms.
But conservative die-hards don’t share the main goal of preserving a large government role in the home mortgage business. If Trump wants real action on this front, he’s going to have to embrace bipartisan legislating, and it’s not clear he’s capable of doing that.
This is unfinished business from the George W. Bush administration
To understand what this is about you need to go back in time. Way back, really, to the Great Depression and the New Deal. Back then, President Franklin D.
Roosevelt’s administration pushed through a suite of measures designed to get more Americans to build and buy houses.
That included the creation of the Federal National Mortgage Association (FNMA, or “Fannie Mae”), which was charged with doing something called “mortgage securitization.”
The aim was simple: to encourage banks to issue more mortgages by minimizing the risks they’d take on. The way this works is that FNMA borrows money and uses it to buy mortgages from banks. These days, it then packages the mortgages and sells them off again as mortgage-backed securities.
This securitization process pools mortgage risk across the entire country.
Whereas previously a given bank would be highly exposed to idiosyncratic risks to the housing market of one particular place, FNMA bought mortgages from all over the place and would be in fine shape, absent a housing bust all across the country (which, of course, is what happened under President George W. Bush). The agency was also able to take advantage of the fact that, as a government entity, it could get away with paying a relatively low interest rate on its debt.
Those low rates to an extent were passed on from banks to consumers.
So the whole FNMA set-up helps explain why many middle-class Americans have been able to get a large loan to buy a house on the attractive terms typical of the standard 30-year mortgage.
Right at the beating heart of American bourgeois capitalism was a huge government agency. An agency that somewhere along the way picked up the cute nickname “Fannie Mae.”
So it went until the Housing and Urban Development Act of 1968. President Lyndon B. Johnson’s administration, which wanted to make the federal debt load look smaller, turned Fannie Mae into a private company. Then in 1970, Congress created a Fannie Mae competitor, the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (“Freddie Mac”), which did basically the same thing.
Fannie and Freddie were odd ducks. On paper, they were just regular old private companies owned by shareholders and managed for profit. But Fannie’s corporate headquarters was in Washington, DC, and Freddie Mac HQ was across the river in Virginia.
And their CEOs tended to be political people (a former Congress member, Walter Mondale’s campaign manager, and Bill Clinton’s budget chief, to name a few of the résumés), not to mention that they have a special government agency to regulate them and certain congressional mandated goals to do things promote affordable housing.
People called them “government-sponsored enterprises,” and the interest rate that they paid on their debt looked more the interest rate paid on federal government debt than normal private sector debt. Financial markets, in short, acted as if Fannie and Freddie were still part of the government and sure to get a bailout in case anything bad happened.
Then toward the end of the Bush administration, something bad happened. The housing market collapsed nationally, and suddenly rather than being protected by diversification, Fannie and Freddie were just holding the bag for a whole nationwide housing bubble.
Lo and behold, a bailout was organized. But not TARP, the main bailout for the banking industry.
Several months before that bailout in 2008, Congress passed the Housing and Economic Recovery Act, which authorized the federal government to take Fannie and Freddie into what the law called conservatorship.
Under conservatorship, the government gave Fannie and Freddie a bunch of money so that Fannie and Freddie could keep paying their debts and the whole plumbing of the mortgage system could continue working.
While TARP (the Troubled Asset Relief Program) treated bank shareholders’ with kid gloves — essentially asking for repayment of what was given with a small amount of interest — conservatorship was harsh.
The private shareholders still in some sense owned their shares, but government regulators made all of the decisions. The companies had in practice been nationalized, but formally speaking the shareholders were still out there.
So things started to get weird.
Hedge funds are hoping for a payday
The Bush administration didn’t do anything more with Fannie and Freddie, leaving it up to the next administration. Then when Barack Obama first took office, he had better things to do than to muck around with this issue, and kind of hoped Congress would work something out.
But working something out proved challenging. Ideologues on the right thought that it was time for the government to get the mortgage business completely. To them, the lesson of Fannie and Freddie and the crash was that the whole concept of a “government-sponsored entity” was ill-advised, and they wanted to just sunset the companies’ existence.
To people on the left, the idea of simply returning them to their pre-Lyndon B. Johnson status as government agencies was attractive. But politicians in the center wanted to have it both ways — have the government be involved enough in the mortgage market to keep subsidized 30-year mortgages available, but also somehow not have the government providing an open-ended guarantee of a bailout.
Various Congress members worked away at various versions of this idea, but it was slow-going. And in the interim, Fannie and Freddie started to be profitable again.
That led the Obama administration to declare in 2012 that all Fannie and Freddie profits would be immediately “swept” into the main Treasury account, leaving only meager cash on the government-sponsored entities’ books.
This was supposed to simultaneously make the budget deficit look smaller and increase pressure on Congress to come up with something.
Around this time, some hedge fund managers got an idea they d better. They bought up tons of basically worthless shares in the companies and began agitating for a solution they called “recap and release.” In other words, they wanted Treasury to stop sweeping up profits, and let the cash stay with Fannie and Freddie.
That would allow them to build up a large enough cash buffer to work as viable businesses (they’d be “recapitalized”), at which point the government could simply release them from conservatorship.
That would avoid the need for Congress to answer any of the outstanding policy questions — and create a huge financial windfall for the funds who had bought the worthless stock.
The Obama administration fought this idea vociferously, which is one reason John Paulson and Steve Schwarzman — two of the main hedge fund managers behind recap and release — became solid Trump backers.
But ideological conservatives didn’t this idea because the “release” part of recap and release would simply set the country up to do the whole boom-bust-bailout cycle all over again.
So the topic continued to linger for years, until the Treasury Department released this week’s report.
Mnuchin wants privatization — plus a government guarantee
The new Treasury plan completely punts on this question of what happens to the existing Fannie and Freddie shareholders.
Instead, it just says they should be privatized through some unspecified mechanism.
But rather than going back to the old system of a wink-nudge implicit guarantee, Mnuchin’s plan calls for an explicit government guarantee that will be structured a kind of insurance policy.
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will both pay an annual fee to the government, and in exchange their loans will be guaranteed by the federal government. That in turn is supposed to be paired with regulatory efforts to prevent them from abusing their guarantee.
Conceptually, this seems to provide what many politicians imply they want — the affordable 30-year mortgages that only government action can provide, but without the embarrassing socialism of having the federal government at the commanding heights of the housing finance system.
On the other hand, it’s hard to say what advantage exists to this system over having these companies be public entities.
Making the putatively “private” system work will depend entirely on the government setting the price of the insurance guarantee correctly and doing a good job of supervising Fannie and Freddie as regulators.
They would be completely dependent on the federal government for their business model to be viable. All this plan does is introduce a bunch of questions about how exactly to launch the new system.
The report does have a clearer point in a set of other regulatory ideas aimed at addressing some conservative critiques of the government-sponsored entities.
The Treasury plan calls, for example, for affordable housing functions to be mostly carved off from Fannie and Freddie and assigned to the Department of Housing and Urban Development, where they can be squeezed in the normal appropriations process rather than taking advantage of cross-subsidies.
The report also suggests that Fannie and Freddie might pull multifamily housing entirely, or perhaps refuse to finance loans in jurisdictions that adopt rent control laws.
Another thing that’s unclear from reading the report, however, is how the administration plans to actually proceed from here.
Changing the system requires congressional action
Treasury’s report makes a series of recommendations, noting next to each one which recommendations require congressional action and which can be done administratively. Even on the administrative front, there is some complexity. Different authorities are in the hands of different agencies, and Trump’s appointees may not be entirely -minded on some of these questions.
That kind of granular breakdown, though in some ways welcome, is in other ways a bit misleading.
The heart of the proposed new system is the government guarantee of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and that clearly requires an act of Congress. Since we’re talking about legislation, that would need 60 votes in the Senate, and to be brought to the floor of the Democratic-controlled House, it would have to be bipartisan legislation.
That’s an inherently difficult road forward, because the most liberal Democrats have decided they mostly the status quo and the most conservative Republicans don’t the idea of creating a government guarantee. It’s always a good idea to bet against big bipartisan bills getting done.
But more to the point, if an overhaul does get done, it will be as a result of a Congress-led negotiating process.
All these subsidiary points would be on the table for discussion, and some of the more aggressively conservative regulatory ideas would probably have to be taken the mix.
And the x-factor lurking behind this all is the hedge funds whose hoped-for windfall, though not directly addressed in the blueprint, certainly could be delivered through congressional action.
For now, though, there’s no sign that Treasury has engaged with House Democrats on any of these issues (or, really, any issues at all), which makes the path ahead very hard to see.
“,”author”:”Matthew Yglesias”,”date_published”:”2019-09-09T13:00:00.000Z”,”lead_image_url”:”https://cdn.vox-cdn.com/thumbor/-4eME_ICAsG_hPzQPB8q8L7Fs9Y=/0x0:3000×1571/fit-in/1200×630/cdn.vox-cdn.com/uploads/chorus_asset/file/19174993/1164302170.jpg.jpg”,”dek”:null,”next_page_url”:null,”url”:”https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2019/9/9/20852075/fannie-mae-freddie-mac-trump-privatize”,”domain”:”www.vox.com”,”excerpt”:”The Treasury Department has a new blueprint for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac that could upend the mortgage market.”,”word_count”:2121,”direction”:”ltr”,”total_pages”:1,”rendered_pages”:1}
Trump admin proposes overhaul of FHA, Freddie and Fannie
The Trump administration Thursday released a long-awaited plan to overhaul the way the U.S. government helps homeowners. Separate guidance from the U.S.
Department of Housing and Urban Development and the United States Department of the Treasury include major reforms to the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) and an end of government conservatorship for mortgage-backed securities giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
Ben Carson | Credit: HUD
“As a direct result of the Trump Administration’s pro-growth policies, unemployment is at 50-year low and American families are earning higher incomes and enjoying more opportunities than seemed possible just a few years ago,” said HUD Secretary Ben Carson said in a statement.
“There is still one piece of unfinished business from the financial crisis: housing finance reform. These changes to our housing finance system will help more American families achieve their dream of owning a home.”
Among the first reform, in HUD’s 43-page guidance, is a plan for FHA to provide housing finance support to low- and moderate-income families that cannot buy through traditional underwriting. Today, FHA is the largest provider of home loans in the country, according to HUD.
Administrative reforms aimed at refocusing FHA include the implementation of a new homebuyer sustainability scorecard to measure the performance of loans to low- and moderate-income first-time buyers. It will track the percent of borrowers who default, turn to renting, refinance an FHA loan and remain in an original FHA-financed home. The scorecard will help future underwriting changes.
HUD also calls on Congress to establish statutory limitations on FHA cash-out refinances, as well as establish FHA, Veterans Affairs and the United States Department of Agriculture as the sole source of low downpayment financing for borrows not served by the conventional market.
The released guidelines also include plans to reform FHA and Ginnie Mae’s risk management and governance, including the elimination of regulatory barriers to building more housing, including manufactured housing. The guidance calls on Congress to enact legislation to restructure FHA as an autonomous government corporation within HUD and for Congress to provide funding to modernize FHA’s IT structure.
“FHA and Ginnie Mae should focus on helping families and individuals in their respective programs become sustainable homeowners while minimizing risk to the taxpayer to the greatest extent possible,” Brian Montgomery, FHA commissioner and assistant secretary of housing, said in a statement.
Ending Fannie and Freddie’s conservatorship
The U.S. Department of the Treasury released its own guidance Thursday and among the biggest reforms, is the recommendation that the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHA) begin the process of ending the government conservatorship of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
“The Trump Administration is committed to promoting much-needed reforms to the housing finance system that will protect taxpayers and help Americans who want to buy a home,” U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement. “An effective and efficient federal housing finance system will also meaningfully contribute to the continued economic growth under this administration.”
The law doesn’t provide a specific endpoint for the conservatorships, but the guidance notes that the move was not meant to be forever.
“An eventual end is also necessary to reduce the far-reaching government influence over the housing finance system inherent in FHFA’s management of [Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac] through the conservatorships.
Mark Calabria | Credit: U.S. Senate Banking Committee
Mark Calabria, FHFA’s head — and a one-time economist for the National Association of Realtors (NAR) — has long been an advocate for reforming the two government-sponsored entities (GSEs). The plan would allow Calabria to exercise authority as conservator to begin the process without legislations in place.
Fannie and Freddie were put under government conservatorship in 2008 — at the same time FHFA was created — as a result of the 2008 financial crisis. They were bailed out by taxpayers to the tune of $187.5 billion, but have since paid that back and become profitable once again.
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac currently purchase mortgages directly from lenders, add to these mortgages a guarantee that the GSEs will pay up if homeowners default, repackage the mortgages into mortgage-backed securities and hold them or sell them to investors.
The reform also calls for more competition for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac from the private sector by opening up the charter. Right now, there are no private competitors for mortgage securitization to speak of, an after-effect of the financial crisis when smaller investors fled from the market.
The plan draws some criticism
Critics of the plan include Democratic Senator Sherrod Brown, who was also a vocal critic of the appointment of Calabria.
President Trump’s housing plan will make mortgages more expensive and harder to get. I’m urging the President: Make it easier for working people to buy or rent their homes, not harder. https://t.co/6X6CcEa2PX
— Sherrod Brown (@SenSherrodBrown) September 5, 2019
A host of advocacy groups also announced their opposition to the proposed reforms.
The National Urban League, Center for Responsible Lending, Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, NAACP, National Coalition for Asian Pacific American Community Development, National Fair Housing Alliance, UnidosUS (formerly the National Council of La Raza), National Community Reinvestment Coalition, and the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, Inc. released a joint statement:
“The Administration’s proposal will increase the cost of mortgages for all borrowers, especially families of color, low- to moderate-income families, and rural families whose income growth has been surpassed by housing costs for homes as well as rental markets across the country,” the statement reads.
“Changes to the system must build upon the GSEs’ important public mission, including support for the GSEs’ existing duty to serve mandate and the affordable housing goals,” the statement continues.
“Furthermore, any plan for reform must recognize that much more needs to be done to bolster affordable housing, including by the GSEs. Fair lending requirements must be strengthened and fully enforced.
Any effort to weaken existing requirements under the guise of ‘efficiency’ is a nonstarter.”
Email Patrick Kearns