Ending months of suspense, on February 11, 2011, the Department of the Treasury and the Department of Housing and Urban Development issued a report to Congress unveiling the Obama Administration’s plans for the two giant, governmentsponsored secondary mortgage market entities (GSEs), Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and for the future of the U.S. housing finance system generally (the “Proposal”). The first element of the plan is to reduce government support for housing finance in general, including the gradual but deliberate wind-down of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac over a period of years. The second element of the plan is to remedy “fundamental flaws” in the mortgage finance market identified by the Administration as significant contributors to the financial crisis, by reforming loan origination and securitization practices as already provided for by the Dodd-Frank Act, and by reforming mortgage servicing and foreclosure processes. The third element of the plan is to better target the government’s support for affordable housing by reforming and strengthening the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), rebalancing national housing policy to provide additional support for rental properties, and ensuring that housing capital reaches non-mainstream communities, including rural areas, economically distressed regions, and lowincome communities.
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