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ICYMI: What’s Next for FHFA—A Fireside Chat with Acting Director Sandra Thompson

The Federal Housing Finance Agency—in serving out its supervisory responsibilities over Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (the GSEs) in conservatorship and the Federal Home Loan Bank System—can have a significant impact on access to homeownership and rental housing in the United States.

As BPC has previously noted, the appointment of a new FHFA Director can also portend dramatic shifts in the agency’s priorities. While restrained by some statutory duties and obligations, the role of FHFA Director includes substantial administrative authorities as both regulator and conservator of the GSEs, the exercise of which often directly affect housing access and affordability.

To better understand plans and priorities for the agency, BPC’s J. Ronald Terwilliger Center for Housing Policy hosted What’s Next for FHFA: A Fireside Chat with Acting Director Sandra L. Thompson last month. Sandra Thompson was appointed Acting Director of FHFA in June 2021 and later nominated by President Biden in December 2021 to serve as the agency’s next Director. Her nomination has advanced out of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs and is awaiting a vote by the full Senate.

Our conversation with Acting Director Thompson covered a broad range of issues within the agency’s purview—from the continued implementation of pandemic response and relief efforts to the future of housing finance reform.

Check out some of the highlights below:

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On balancing access to mortgage credit while ensuring safety and soundness:

On the rationale and impact of lifting FHFA’s adverse market fee:

On how FHFA and the GSEs can help address the acute lack of housing supply by supporting accessory dwelling units and manufactured housing:

On how FHFA and the GSEs can help grow the supply of multifamily housing by supporting LIHTC investment and commercial-to-residential property conversions:

On how the FHFA approaches Special Purpose Credit Programs:

On what must happen to end the GSEs’ conservatorship after 14 years:

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