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FHFA Announces Final Rule on Duty to Serve Statute

Phil Hall
Dec 14, 2016
The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) has issued a final rule to implement the Duty to Serve statute

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) has issued a final rule to implement the Duty to Serve statute that requires the government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to offer mortgage financing for financially challenged households seeking homeownership in the manufactured housing, affordable housing preservation and rural housing markets.

The final rule creates complementary processes for the GSEs to establish plans for their Duty to Serve activities to submit to FHFA, which the regulator will evaluate and release to Congress on an annual basis. However, the final rule does not mandate any specific activities, nor does it set a quota for financing goals.

"With this final rule, which reflects extensive input from a wide variety of stakeholders, FHFA is fulfilling its statutory requirement to implement the Duty to Serve provisions in the Housing and Economic Recovery Act," said FHFA Director Mel Watt. "We look forward to working with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to help meet the critical housing needs for very low-, low-, and moderate-income American families around the country in the manufactured housing, affordable housing preservation, and rural housing markets. As we do so, we of course will evaluate each Enterprise proposal to ensure that it will not compromise safety and soundness."

The FHFA also created a dedicated Web page, FHFA.gov/DTS, to gather stakeholder feedback on implementation of the Duty to Serve statute and to post any updates on the program’s progress.

Separately, the GSEs are continuing their annual tradition of placing a moratorium on evictions during the year-end holiday season. The new moratorium will take effect on Dec. 19 and continue until Jan. 3.

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