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Senators Urge Watt to Support Housing Trust Fund

JAN 24, 2014 1:12pm ET
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Over 30 Democratic senators are urging the new Federal Housing Finance Agency director to use Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac profits to fund affordable housing programs as authorized by Congress back in 2008.

The Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 directed FHFA to help capitalize and fund a National Housing Trust Fund that would support community efforts to build, preserve, and rehabilitate rental homes that are affordable for extremely and very low income households.

After Fannie and Freddie were placed in conservatorship in September 2008, acting FHFA director Edward DeMarco issued a notice that any funding from the GSEs would be suspended while in conservatorship and dependent on U.S. Treasury draws to fund their secondary market operations.

Now that Mel Watt has been confirmed as the new FHFA director and the GSEs are profitable again, the Democratic senators are asking the FHFA director to lift the suspension and fund the NHTF and a Capital Magnet Fund.

Since 2008, “the number of homes that are affordable for renters at or below 30% of area median income decreased by more than 1 million units,” according to a Jan. 23 letter signed by 33 senators.

“The time is long overdue to lift the current suspension of contributions to the NHTF and CMF, and we ask for your full and fair consideration of our request,” the joint letter says.

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