Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the Federal Home Loan Banks (FHLBs) are government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) that help bring capital to the housing markets. Their regulator is the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA).
HFAs and the Housing GSEs
The GSEs are critical in providing liquidity, stability and affordability to the mortgage market, particularly for long-term, fixed-rate mortgages. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac purchase and securitize loans from HFAs and other lenders who then use the proceeds to finance more mortgages. The FHLBs provide advances and other financial products to support their members’ affordable housing activities.
Both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have done business with the HFAs to help support affordable single-family and multifamily housing opportunities. Both firms currently offer specific HFA-only products that allow HFAs to sell the single-family loans with preferred terms. Recognizing HFAs’ track record of responsibly supporting affordable housing lending, FHFA has directed Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to work more closely with HFAs.
In addition, until recent years, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were large purchasers of Housing Bonds and Housing Credits. Both firms plan to resume their Housing Credit investments soon.
Some HFAs have also partnered with the various FHLBs to finance their single-family and multifamily programs. HFAs are allowed to join their local FHLB ranch as associate housing members.
Recently, Members of Congress, policymakers, and outside experts have begun to discuss proposals for comprehensive GSE reform legislation, particularly Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. NCSHA supports a strong, healthy GSE system in order to ensure stability, liquidity, and affordability in the home mortgage market. NCSHA’s position paper on GSE reform calls for a system with an explicit government guarantee, robust affordable housing goals, and a clear commitment to partnering with HFAs.
- To find local housing assistance, please contact your state’s Housing Finance Agency (HFA).
- To learn more about NCSHA’s advocacy work in this area or to attend a related education event, complete the general inquiry form.
- Members of the media, please contact Lisa Bowman, Director of Marketing and Communications, at email@example.com.
- June 28, 2018White House Proposes Federal Government Reorganization
The Trump Administration last week released a comprehensive plan for reorganizing the executive agencies of the federal government. It includes several provisions impacting federal housing and community development programs.
- June 22, 2018Senate Rejects Rescission Bill That Would Have Reduced Funding for Affordable Housing Programs
The Senate June 20 rejected the Administration-proposed Spending Cuts to Expired and Unnecessary Programs Act, 48 – 50. If enacted, the bill would have rescinded $14.7 billion in funding that had previously been approved by Congress.
- May 24, 2018FHFA Director Watt Testifies Before Senate Banking Committee
The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) will soon propose capital requirements for the government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, FHFA Director Mel Watt told the Senate Banking Committee during a May 23 hearing.
Housing Government-Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs) - Resources
- March 16, 2018Freddie Mac | How Big a Difference Do Restricted Rents Make?
Freddie Mac’s analysis illustrates the significant financial savings Housing Credit tenants are able to achieve compared to low-income households living in comparable market-rate rental housing.
- March 13, 2018National Low Income Housing Coalition | The Gap: A Shortage of Affordable Rental Homes
The 2017 report from the National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) measures the availability of rental housing affordable to extremely low income households and other income groups.
- May 16, 2016Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University | The State of the Nation’s Housing 2015
One telling indicator of the state of the nation’s housing is the drop in the homeownership rate to just 64.5 percent last year, erasing nearly all of the increase in the previous two decades. The number of homeowners fell for the eighth straight year, signaling persistently weak demand in this key market segment. And the trend does not appear to be abating, with the national homeownership rate down to 63.7 percent in the first quarter of 2015.
- March 29, 2018FHFA Report Details Progress on the 2017 Scorecard for Fannie Mae and Freddie MacFHFA.gov
- December 21, 2017FHFA Releases 2018 Scorecard for Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Common Securitization SolutionsFederal Housing Finance Agency
- December 20, 2017FHFA Issues Request for Input on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Credit Score RequirementsFederal Housing Finance Agency