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FHFA Wants Advisory Board to Oversee Policy

The agency that oversees most U.S. mortgages wants an advisory board to help FHFA achieve its goal to create affordable, equitable and sustainable housing.

WASHINGTON – The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) wants to create a new “Federal Advisory Committee on Affordable, Equitable, and Sustainable Housing” (Committee). It announced the proposed change this week in the Federal Register.

According to FHFA, the committee won’t have the power to make decisions, nor access to any non-public FHFA information. As an advisory board, however, a diverse group of about 20 members – all appointed by the FHFA Director – will create a connection with the public and offer opinions on FHFA housing decisions.

According to FHFA, the committee “will provide advice and input regarding affordable, equitable and sustainable housing needs, and any regulatory or policy changes that may be necessary or beneficial to address those matters.”

Because FHFA oversees Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the Federal Home Loan Banks, its decision on mortgage lending impacts over half of all U.S mortgages. The new committee will at least have some influence over the single-family and multifamily home markets.

The committee “will better position FHFA to fulfill its strategic goal of supporting access to affordable, equitable and sustainable housing,” says FHFA Director Sandra L. Thompson. It shows our “commitment to transparency, ongoing dialogue with stakeholders and the public, and thoughtful policymaking.”

Advisory members must have expertise in at least one of the following areas:

  • Fair housing, fair lending, or civil rights
  • Single-family lending, servicing, development, mortgages, or capital markets
  • Multifamily lending, servicing, development, mortgages, capital markets, or investments (i.e. Low-Income Housing Tax Credits)
  • Consumer, tenant, or community advocacy
  • Market technology
  • State, local, or tribal government housing policies and programs
  • Academic or non-academic affiliated housing research

The Committee’s charter commences 15 days after publication in the Federal Register. FHFA says it will solicit applications and nominations for membership in a subsequent Federal Register notice.

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