May 23, 2018

NAFCU, FHFA discuss housing market priorities, ongoing activities

Mel Watt
FHFA Director Mel Watt

In a meeting yesterday at the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), agency Director Mel Watt and NAFCU President and CEO Dan Berger discussed relevant activities ongoing at the agency to strengthen the housing market and advocated for the creation of a pilot program to ensure a secondary market for affordable mortgage options.

Other topics discussed during yesterday's meeting were the FHFA's efforts to make changes to credit score reporting, the Federal Home Loan Bank's affordable housing program and the FHFA's recently released multi-year plan that aims to improve access to mortgage credit for limited English proficiency (LEP) borrowers.

NAFCU Director of Regulatory Affairs Alexander Monterrubio and Regulatory Affairs Counsel Ann Kossachev attended yesterday's meeting with Berger.

NAFCU has asked the FHFA to consider permitting the government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) to start pilot programs for loans with a zero- or low-down payment and shorter amortization terms to help first-time homebuyer's purchase and build equity on a home. While the agency's final housing goals for the GSEs did not contain such plans, NAFCU will continue working with the FHFA to allow the GSEs to begin purchasing credit union loans that offer more affordable mortgage options to their members in need.

The FHFA is also currently considering changes to the credit scoring models used by the GSEs. Commenting in March on the four options the agency is considering, NAFCU recommended the "lender choice" option to provide credit unions with more flexibility, rather than continuing to use a one-size-fits-all approach.