Meanwhile, the National Association of Home Builders says it is willing to explore the idea of an independent agency to regulate Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, according to the trade group's chief executive Jerry Howard.However, the NAHB will "fight" to make sure the Treasury Department does not get control of mission regulation and the approval of new products and activities. That authority over Fannie and Freddie should not "belong to people who are anti-housing," Mr. Howard told MortgageWire. The NAHB chief executive made his comments in reaction to statements by Treasury Assistant Secretary Wayne Abernathy that the Bush administration is not willing to compromise on its proposals to create a new regulator for the government-sponsored enterprises. "We are going to stand just as strong as Mr. Abernathy," he said. The NAHB prefers assigning safety-and-soundness regulation to the Treasury and leaving mission regulation with the Department of Housing and Urban Development. "We are going to defend the importance of a flexible housing finance system that is regulated by people who understand housing and place housing finance as a priority," Mr. Howard said.

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