On May 25, the Senate confirmed Sandra Thompson as Director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA). The FHFA provides supervision, regulation, and housing mission oversight of Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the Federal Home Loan Banks, which are Government-Sponsored Enterprises, or GSEs. The White House appointed Thompson as acting director of the FHFA in June 2021, and she has since pursued several regulatory actions designed to address the racial homeownership gap and fulfill the GSEs’ statutory duty to serve underserved mortgage markets.
Under Thompson’s leadership to date, the FHFA has entered into a fair lending data sharing agreement with HUD and made on-time rental payment history a part of Fannie Mae’s home loan underwriting process. FHFA has also set new affordability goals for the GSEs, establishing target loan purchases in minority and low-income Census tracts. The agency is currently determining whether the GSEs can use alternative credit scoring models, deciding whether the GSEs can sustainably back loans made on deeply affordable manufactured housing, and releasing the equitable housing finance plans that it required the GSEs to submit by the end of 2021. Enterprise will continue to monitor the FHFA for its work to oversee the GSEs and will continue to engage with the agency to promote strong fair lending practices for underserved markets.