The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) proposed a rule that would establish housing goals for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (the Enterprises) for 2015 through 2017. FHFA is requesting comment on all aspects of the proposed rule. The Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 requires FHFA to establish annual housing goals for both Enterprises, and FHFA’s current housing goals rule is effective through the end of 2014.
FHFA is requesting comment on three alternative approaches for establishing the single-family housing goals for 2015-2017:
Alternative (1) – use the current two-step process, which involves setting both a prospective benchmark level and a retrospective market level measure based on Home Mortgage Disclosure Act data;
Alternative (2) – set only prospective benchmark levels; and
Alternative (3) – use only the retrospective market level measure.
FHFA has proposed single-family benchmark levels for 2015-2017 that the agency would consider adopting under Alternative (1), and these levels are detailed in table one. FHFA's proposal would keep the benchmarks at current levels for low and very low-income families in an effort to encourage Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to promote safe and sound lending to lower-income borrowers.
If FHFA were to adopt Alternative (2), the agency would consider adopting single-family benchmark levels in the final rule that are lower than the proposed levels. Alternative (3) would not involve setting a prospective benchmark level.
Multifamily Housing Goals
The proposed rule also includes benchmark levels for multifamily housing goals and, for the first time, would establish a subgoal for small multifamily properties (5-50 units) affordable to low-income families (see tables below). FHFA's proposed multifamily benchmark levels would be the same for Fannie Mae and would gradually increase for Freddie Mac. These levels would require the Enterprises to continue to support affordable multifamily housing despite the expectation that the Enterprises' overall multifamily market share will continue to decline in the coming years due to increased participation by the private sector in the multifamily market.
FHFA is also requesting comment on whether multifamily housing goals credit should be allowed for blanket loans on manufactured housing communities.