Urban League Urges FHFA Director Watt to Protect Housing Market

May 12 2017

WASHINGTON, D.C. (May 12, 2017) – Today, the National Urban League President and CEO Marc H. Morial issued the following statement regarding Federal Housing Finance Agency Director Mel Watt’s testimony to the U.S. Senate Banking Committee on the sustainability of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac:

“We agree with Director Watt’s testimony to the Senate Banking Committee that the conservatorship agreement in its current state is unsustainable due to Fannie and Freddie’s requirement to have a $0 capital buffer by 2018 and the stipulation that their profits be swept directly to Treasury, preventing them from protecting themselves from foreseeable market risks.

“Fannie and Freddie must have capital reserves to protect themselves and to ensure there is liquidity in the housing market. As homeownership rates continue to decline, it is critical that we take a proactive approach to allow Fannie and Freddie to restore their capital reserves and prevent future damage to the housing market.

“Director Watt must continue to ensure that Fannie and Freddie operate in a safe and sound manner. As their regulator, he alone has the authority to prevent the need for a taxpayer bailout. Although, we hope the U.S. Treasury and Congress work in concert with FHFA, we urge Director Watt to take the necessary steps to protect the housing market.”

Jordun Lawrence | jlawrence@nul.org | (202) 629-1604