New affordable housing goals go easy on Fannie and Freddie

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WASHINGTON — The Federal Housing Finance Agency said Thursday it would leave the affordable housing goals for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac largely the same as the previous goals.

Freddie failed to meet its low-income and very-low-income housing purchase goals in 2013 and 2014 while both government-sponsored enterprises fell short in 2015.

FHFA Director Mel Watt appears to be trying to give the GSEs a chance to catch up.

"We will do everything we can to meet the new affordable housing goals," said Fannie Mae spokesman Pete Bakel. "And the newly proposed Duty to Service requirements will reinforce those efforts."

The proposed 2018-20 affordable housing goals incrementally increase just two of the seven benchmark goals. The low-income areas home purchase subgoal would be increased from 14% to 15%, while the low-income multifamily goal would increase to 315,000 units from 300,000. The proposal is being issued for a 60-day comment period.

To meet the affordable housing goals or subgoals, a GSE must purchase one-to-four-family mortgages and finance multifamily properties with rental units that are affordable to low-income families.

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