July 09, 2013
Contact: Sarah Brundage

Press Call: National Low Income Housing Coalition Files Suit Against Federal Housing Finance Agency for Failing to Fund Affordable Housing

CONTACT: Sarah Brundage, sarah@nlihc.org, 202-662-1530 x246

Washington, DC – Today, the National Low Income Housing Coalition, along with four individual plaintiffs and the Right to the City Alliance, filed a lawsuit against the Acting Director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, Edward DeMarco, for failing to uphold Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s statutory requirement to make contributions to the National Housing Trust Fund. 

“The time has long past for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to be supporting the National Housing Trust Fund as Congress meant for them to do. The delay caused by the Federal Housing Finance Agency is unconscionable given the growing shortage of housing that is affordable for the lowest income Americans. The National Low Income Housing Coalition is taking this action today in hopes these critical resources can be put to use as soon as possible,” said Sheila Crowley, President and CEO of the National Low Income Housing Coalition.

The Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008, signed by President George W. Bush, established the National Housing Trust Fund to build, preserve, rehabilitate, and operate rental housing that is affordable to the lowest income Americans. The law requires that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac transfer a portion of the value of their new business to the National Housing Trust Fund. This requirement was temporarily suspended by the Director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency when Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were taken into conservatorship. 

The 2012 Securities and Exchange Commission’s filings show that new business activity for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in 2012 was approximately $1.4 trillion. Thus in 2012, approximately $382 million of that amount should have gone to the National Housing Trust Fund. 

As the National Housing Trust Fund remains unfunded, the state of housing for America’s poorest families continues to worsen. Extremely low income renters, including seniors, people with disabilities, families, and veterans, are suffering the most. Over two-thirds (68%) of our country’s poorest households have to spend more than half of their income on housing costs. For every ten extremely low income households, there are only three affordable and available homes.

Given the strong financial position of both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the conditions that prompted the suspension in 2008 no longer exist. All suspended payments since the first quarter of 2012 should be applied to the National Housing Trust Fund. Federal Housing Finance Agency Acting Director DeMarco has failed to lift the suspensions, thereby neglecting the companies’ statutory obligations to support affordable housing. 

Once funded, the National Housing Trust Fund will begin to address the nationwide shortage of 7.1 million rental units that are affordable and available to our poorest households. This shortage is the principle reason why homelessness persists in the United States today.

What: Press call announcing legal action against FHFA Acting Director Mr. DeMarco 
When: 12:30 pm ET, July 9, 2013 
Who: Speakers include:

  • Rachel Laforest, Executive Director of the Right to the City Alliance
  • Angela Samuels, Plaintiff
  • Danielle Stelluto, Plaintiff
  • Sheila Crowley, President and CEO of the National Low Income Housing Coalition

To participate: 866-952-1906, Code: FHFA


About NLIHC
Established in 1974 by Cushing N. Dolbeare, the National Low Income Housing Coalition is dedicated solely to achieving socially just public policy that assures people with the lowest incomes in the United States have affordable and decent homes.

Contact
Sarah Brundage
Communications Director
National Low Income Housing Coalition
202-662-1530 x246
sarah@nlihc.org
www.nlihc.org 
www.twitter.com/NLIHC


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  • commented 2013-12-21 16:54:03 -0800
    As a shareholder in Fannie Mae I can appreciate the statutory obligation the company has to use a percentage of our financial strength to make investments in affordable housing. No community benefits from having homelessness. A man or woman with a job should not be forced to live in a tent. Whether it’s discrimination, zoning law, higher roi investment opportunities, or just a lack of vision, it is difficult to pinpoint exactly why capital does not find its way toward this problem. At the scale Fannie Mae operates at it is good business to consider all Americans as customers even if their business is not immensely profitable.

    Convervatorship has to end first before these programs can or should be restored. The affordable housing programs are a trade-off that shareholders make for the BENEFIT of their ownership. If the owners of the companies do not get the access to their rights as owners on equal footing with those who benefit from our investments by authority that we do not have input as to its scope, then it becomes theft.
  • commented 2013-11-24 09:04:20 -0800
    Thank you
  • published this page in Resources 2013-07-09 15:10:03 -0700