The National Association of Home Builders has adopted more accommodative positions toward GSE regulatory reform, but it still opposes legislative efforts that would strip Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac of their special privileges."We think we are holding out an olive branch, and we hope we can work with the Bush administration to come up with a world-class, independent, nonpolitical regulator," NAHB executive vice president Jerry Howard told MortgageWire. "The new policies give us more latitude in the areas of regulatory reform, receivership, and affordable housing goals." Last year, the homebuilders adamantly opposed legislation that would have granted a new GSE regulator receivership powers. This year the NAHB is open to discussion, provided that the new regulator does not have the "authority to completely liquidate a GSE," said Gary Garczynski, chairman of the NAHB's GSE policy task force. On affordable housing, the NAHB wants Fannie and Freddie to set aside a percentage of their profits to support construction of workforce housing. The builders also support giving the Federal Home Loan Banks authority to issue and guarantee mortgage-backed securities. Increasing competition among the GSEs would lower costs and loan guarantee fees, Mr. Howard said. The NAHB's board of directors approved the new GSE policies on Jan. 14. The NAHB can be found on the web at http://www.nahb.org.

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