Expanding Housing Supply: Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac

The Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs), Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, play a crucial role in addressing the affordable housing crisis by backing multifamily property loans, which increase the housing supply and create successful apartment communities. Yet, over a decade after the GSEs were put into conservatorship, the U.S. housing finance system still needs to be reformed.

The federal regulator and conservator of Fannie and Freddie—the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA)—should remain focused on leveraging federal incentives to bolster new affordable housing supply instead of considering the imposition of new or expanded federal obligations on private rental housing providers such as rent control.

Position

GSE reform must focus on supporting underserved areas and mortgages to aid low- and moderate-income families with home ownership and rental housing.

The FHFA needs to focus on the Enterprises’ stated mission of serving as a reliable source of liquidity and funding for housing finance and community investment and avoid limiting broader housing availability and affordability goals.

Additionally, the FHFA should avoid imposing counterproductive property restrictions, such as rent control, on multifamily properties backed by loans from the Enterprises, as they would lead to less investment and development in the affordable housing market, especially during this time of market uncertainty.

Background

The GSEs—one of the primary funding sources for housing in the U.S.—have been in conservatorship since September 6, 2008. Debate over reforms continues. Consideration by their conservator on whether to impose rent regulations, including rent control, on Enterprise financing is a new threat to increasing the supply of affordable housing.

For more information and recent updates, reference our resources below.

Resources

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MORE ISSUES
Affordable Housing
Expanding Housing Supply: Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac
Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC)
IRS Limitations on Private-Activity Bonds (PABs)
"YES In My Backyard" (YIMBY)
Surplus Federal Real Estate for Affordable Housing