Reports: Biden To Nominate Fudge For HUD

President-elect Joe Biden is expected to name Congresswoman Marcia Fudge of Ohio as the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, according to media reports Tuesday. No official announcement of the appointment has been made, as the Biden team has been leaking cabinet selections to the media in advance of formal announcements a day or so later. Fudge, D-Ohio, had sought to lead the USDA – and even seemed to balk at the idea that she might end up at HUD. She told Politico in November that Black leaders too often are pigeon-holed for only certain cabinet positions, including HUD. As this country becomes more and more diverse, we’re going to have to stop looking at only certain agencies as those that people like me…

ABA Backs Perdue In Georgia Runoff

The American Bankers Association is jumping into the Senate runoff election in Georgia in a big way, dropping an ad thanking Sen. David Perdue for his role in “helping Georgia families and small businesses during the Covid-19 pandemic.” Perdue faces Democrat Jon Ossoff in one of two Georgia runoffs scheduled for Jan. 5 that will determine control of the U.S. Senate. Sen. Kelly Loeffler and Democrat Raphael Warnock face each other in the other runoff. Reuters reported that ABA is spending $1 million on the Perdue’s behalf. ABA called it “part of a voter education campaign.” “Senator Perdue’s strong support for the Paycheck Protection Program allowed small businesses in Georgia and around the country to survive the economic dislocation caused by COVID-19,”…

HFSC Chair Waters Issues Biden Lengthy To-Do List

House Financial Services Committee Chair Maxine Waters issued a lengthy housing to-do list for President-elect Joe Biden. Waters, D-California, sent a 7,056-word letter to Biden urging him to, among other things: Issue an executive order to prevent evictions.Direct the Department of Housing and Urban Development to “implement a uniform, interim recertification rule that requires PHAs and owners to presume that a tenant’s inability to pay rent has been caused by a loss of income, and as a result would be required to conduct an income recertification.”Preserve the GSE Patch for the duration of the pandemic and re-propose a replacement for the GSE Patch when the housing market has stabilizedFire Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Kathy Kraninger.Fire United States Interagency Council on Homelessness…

Waters Opposes Calabria’s Fannie, Freddie Goals

Mark Calabria wants to pull Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac from conservatorship by the time President Trump leaves office next month. Not so fast, says Rep. Maxine Waters. The chairwoman of the House Financial Services Committee sent Calabria a letter last week urging him to “fully engage with Congress, halt all efforts to raise the capital requirements for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and halt all efforts to release them from conservatorship.” “I believe that it is entirely inappropriate for you and your agency to be focusing on releasing the Enterprises from conservatorship during the pandemic with the assistance of a lame duck Treasury Secretary,” Rep. Waters wrote. “At the very least, the Congress and the American public deserve transparency…

Marzol Retires From FHFA

After 20 months on the job, Federal Housing Finance Agency Principal Deputy Director Adolfo Marzol will retire this month, FHFA announced Friday. Chris Bosland, FHFA’s Senior Advisor for Regulation, will succeed Marzol. “After finalizing the Enterprise’s capital rule, a key milestone on the path to responsibly ending the conservatorships, now is the right time for me to transition back into retirement,” Marzol said.    Bosland joined FHFA in 2019 after serving as deputy chief of staff at the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program. He previously was an attorney in private practice and has served as an economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and as counsel and…

Fannie, Freddie Extend Foreclosure Ban

Another month of security. The Federal Housing Finance Agency announced Wednesday that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will extend the moratoriums on single-family foreclosures and real estate owned evictions until at least January 31. Originally enacted earlier this year to protect homeowners during the Covid pandemic, the moratorium applies to Fannie and Freddie-backed, single-family mortgages only. The REO eviction moratorium applies to properties that have been acquired by Fannie and Freddie through foreclosure or deed-in-lieu of foreclosure transactions. “Extending Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s foreclosure and eviction moratoriums through January 2021 keeps borrowers safe during the pandemic,” Director Mark Calabria said. “This extension gives peace of mind to the more than 28 million homeowners with an Enterprise-backed mortgage.” FHFA projects…

Feds Sue Alabama Housing Org For Discrimination

The housing authority of a small Alabama town was sued Tuesday by the U.S. Justice Department for allegedly discriminating against Black housing applicants. The Justice Department says the Housing Authority of Ashland, Alabama, violated the Fair Housing Act by denying Black applicants the opportunity to live in overwhelmingly white housing complexes, while steering white applicants away from properties whose residents were predominantly Black. Specifically, the lawsuit alleges that it has reserved three housing complexes – Ashland Heights, Clay Circle and East Side – for white residents while reserving West Side and Pine View complexes for Black residents. “Individuals and families should not have their rights affected by their race or national origin,” said U.S. Attorney Prim F. Escalona for the…

FHFA Sets Multifamily Fannie, Freddie Caps

The 2021 multifamily loan purchase caps for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will be $140 billion – or $70 billion for each Fannie and Freddie, the Federal Housing Finance Agency announced Tuesday. The $140 billion will support the multifamily market, and at least 50 percent of Fannie and Freddie’s multifamily loans are required to be used for affordable housing. “Multifamily housing is a critical component of the nation’s housing supply and especially of its affordable housing stock.  As we continue to address the shortage of affordable housing, especially amid the COVID crisis, FHFA will keep a close eye on the multifamily caps to ensure that they are sufficient and serve to increase the supply of affordable housing but do not…

Covid Policies Drive Housing Decisions For Some

Is the grass greener in another town during the Covid-19 pandemic? Americans increasingly think so, as 26 percent say their local government’s response to the coronavirus pandemic has made them want to move away from where they currently live or change where they want to move, according to a new survey released Thursday by Redfin. At the same time, 21 percent of respondents to the October survey said their local governments’ pandemic response has made them like where they live more. “2020 has made Americans realize just how much power their local governments have over their way of life,” Redfin chief economist Daryl Fairweather said. “If residents of a certain area feel their local rules are too lax or too…

FHFA Extends GSE Loan Purchase Flexibility

The Federal Housing Finance Agency announced Thursday yet another extension of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s ability to purchase some single-family mortgages in forbearance to continue to support the liquidity of mortgage lenders during the pandemic. FHFA originally put the policy in place in April in response to borrowers seeking mortgage forbearance shortly after closing on loans – and before the lender could deliver the loan to Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. Prior to the change, loans in forbearance were ineligible to be sold under Fannie and Freddie requirements, placing the borrower and the lender in jeopardy. “Eligible loans will continue to be priced to mitigate the heightened risk of loss to the Enterprises from said loans,” FHFA said in…