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FHFA Convenes Workshop for HFA Community

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Published: 6/5/2018

On May 16, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) hosted a workshop as a way to further engage the HFA lending community.  More than 50 attendees were present at the event held at Fannie Mae headquarters, including lenders, state and local Housing Finance Agency (HFA) representatives, trade associations, and Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (collectively “the Enterprises”).  Speakers included representatives from the National Council of State Housing Agencies and the Mortgage Bankers Association, followed by FHFA and Enterprise presentations.  

HFAs are local and state chartered authorities established to help meet the affordable housing needs of their residents.  They are a primary source for down payment assistance and are key participants in the mortgage lending process for low- to moderate-income homebuyers.  The down payment assistance programs offered by HFAs are often targeted to distinct market segments and have many loan structuring variations which can require specific knowledge from both lenders and borrowers.  

During the first quarter of 2018, FHFA and the Enterprises independently reached out to stakeholders as part of the HFA Access 2018 Scorecard project in order to research and assess opportunities to develop further partnerships with HFAs across market segments, and help increase access to credit.  The results of our outreach generated common themes around HFA products and programs, pricing, interactions with third parties, and technology.  We are currently reviewing ways the Enterprises can assist to help make these programs more widely available to their customers.

Feedback from attendees validated our outreach themes and provided additional insight into potential areas of collaboration and process improvements.  It was encouraging to hear how valuable the HFA relationships are to this group, and the potential opportunities available for further collaboration.  As a next step, we will continue working with the Enterprises to review ideas generated during the workshop, and identify potential approaches for streamlining, aligning, and improving how the Enterprises work with HFAs.

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By: Jeanne Lalli

Senior Policy Analyst, Division of Housing Mission and Goals

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