The Federal Housing Finance Agency should provide needed funding for affordable rental housing ahead of broader legislative efforts to reform the housing finance system, according to a group of 33 senators.
In a letter to FHFA director Mel Watt, the lawmakers -- 32 Democrats and one independent -- asked him to resume funding for the National Housing Trust Fund and the Capital Magnet Fund. The programs are financed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, but allocations from the government-sponsored enterprises have been largely suspended since the firms entered into federal conservatorship.
The senators encouraged Watt to fund the trusts with profits from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The FHFA "should not wait until Congress and the President are able to agree on a new [housing-finance] system," the senators wrote in the letter.