June 7, 2016
In Case You Missed It: A Look at Recent National Housing Policy News
Thirty-two congressional Democrats sent a letter earlier today to Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) Director Mel Watt and U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew expressing concerns about a current policy that requires Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to reduce the amount of capital they hold. The letter, which was drafted by House Financial Services Committee member Michael Capuano (D-MA), asks the regulators to reassess this policy. As a condition for receiving assistance from the federal government, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are currently required to send Treasury any business income they generate at the end of each quarter. In addition, while the GSEs are allowed to keep enough assets to maintain a "capital buffer" to protect against losses temporarily, that buffer must be reduced each year until it is zero by January 1, 2018.