January 31, 2019

Otting sends housing finance response to Congress

Capitol HillFederal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) Acting Director Joseph Otting has responded to a request from House Financial Services Committee Chairwoman Maxine Waters, D-Calif., and Senate Banking Committee Ranking Member Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, asking for the administration's housing finance reform plan.

In addition to outlining his duties as acting director, Otting said the administration is "evaluating the [government-sponsored enterprises] and developing a framework for ending conservatorship." He invited Waters and Brown to offer their perspective on the issue.

Waters and Brown made their request after Politico reported on Otting's comments that a housing finance reform plan from the administration and Treasury Department could come within the next month. After that, Otting said he expects significant progress to be made within "six to 18 months."

Earlier this week, the White House indicated it would work with Congress to reform the nation's housing finance system and GSEs, signaling a shift from Otting's comments that the FHFA and Treasury had the authority to make significant changes to the GSEs without legislation.

NAFCU has urged the Trump administration and Congress to work together on a comprehensive solution to housing finance reform, and has argued that the continued conservatorship of the GSEs is unsustainable

President Donald Trump has nominated Mark Calabria, chief economist for Vice President Mike Pence, to lead the FHFA. His confirmation hearing has yet to be scheduled.