Local nonprofit housing groups may have a new source of downpayment assistance under a pilot program that is being backed by Fannie Mae.Under the pilot program, second mortgages made by local NeighborWorks organizations and purchased by the Neighborhood Housing Services of America will be sold to Fannie Mae for cash. The ultimate goal is to securitize the second mortgages and sell the mortgage-backed securities into the capital markets so more low-income families can receive downpayment assistance. "If we could provide loans to low-income homeowners through the capital markets, we could solidify the gains we have been making in homeownership financing over the last 30 years," Federal Reserve Governor Edward Gramlich said at an NHSA meeting in Washington. For the past 30 years, NHSA has acted as a secondary-market agency for nonprofit housing groups and community development organizations.

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