A federal advisory group on affordable, equitable, and sustainable housing will be established, according to plans unveiled by the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) on Tuesday, the 23rd of August. The committee will provide recommendations and input on the need for affordable, equitable, and sustainable housing and any potential regulatory or policy changes, the FHFA said in a statement.

In prepared remarks, Sandra Thompson, director of FHFA, stated that creating an advisory group will better position FHFA to achieve its strategic aim of facilitating access to affordable, equitable, and sustainable housing. In addition, the announcement demonstrates the agency’s dedication to openness, constant communication with stakeholders such as lenders, borrowers, and the general public, and deliberate policy development that links fair access with safety and soundness.

The committee, whose members have not yet been chosen, will concentrate on Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the Federal Home Loan Banks, controlled by the FHFA. The committee’s announcement comes briefly after the FHFA released plans for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s fair housing finance that provide a framework for the GSEs to close a widening racial homeownership gap.

Freddie Mac’s and Fannie Mae’s plans significantly rely on special purpose credit programs, which let lenders focus on protected classes without worrying about breaking the Equal Credit Opportunity Act. Both GSEs also intend to lessen prejudice in appraisals by using automated appraisals more frequently. Several organizations criticized the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the Federal Reserve, and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation for their efforts to grade banks on their minority lending practices. To read more on this, click here.


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