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Published: October 2021

The FHFA has a new goal in promoting equity in homeownership

Long-standing discriminatory policies and practices in the credit and housing markets have resulted in significant racial and ethnic disparities in homeownership and the accumulation of wealth. Coalition advocates submitted comments to the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) on policies that promote equity and expand opportunity for low-income borrowers. The FHFA should require Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae to remove barriers and advance equity in housing markets to better serve the needs of all consumers, especially those in underserved populations.

In the fall of 2021, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) announced that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (the Enterprises) would submit Equitable Housing Finance Plans to FHFA by the end of 2021 in an effort to promote wealth-building through homeownership for communities of color. The plans will identify and address barriers to sustainable housing opportunities and will include the Enterprises' goals and action plans to advance equity in housing finance for the next three years. FHFA also will require the Enterprises to submit annual progress reports on the actions undertaken during the prior year to implement their plans.

Consumer Action joined other consumer and housing advocates in submitting recommendations to the FHFA regarding its Equitable Housing Finance Plans. The recommendations include requiring the Enterprises to: validate and approve other, less discriminatory credit score models than relying on the “classic” FICO score; expand the Enterprises’ support of small-dollar mortgages to support the lower end of the housing market; include concrete and measurable goals to increase access to the mortgage market for limited English proficiency consumers (LEP); and promote strong fair lending compliance programs, including the use of Language Access Plans. The FHFA’s announcement is a major step in bringing more equity to the housing finance industry.

Lead Organization

National Consumer Law Center (NCLC)

Other Organizations

National Consumer Law Center (on behalf of its low-income clients) | Americans for Financial Reform Education Fund | California Reinvestment Coalition | Community Legal Services of Philadelphia | Consumer Action | National CAPACD – National Coalition for Asian Pacific American Community Development | National Fair Housing Alliance | National Housing Law Project | National Housing Resource Center | Public Counsel | UnidosUS

More Information

For more information, please visit NCLC.

 

Download PDF

The FHFA has a new goal in promoting equity in homeownership   (Equitable_Hsg_Finance_NCLC.pdf)

 

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