Today, Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA), Chairwoman of the House Financial Services Committee, released a statement calling for Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) Acting Director Sandra Thompson to be nominated to lead the agency.
“Today, I call on President Biden to nominate Sandra L. Thompson as Director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA). As an independent agency, the FHFA has a statutory obligation to ensure our nation’s housing market remains liquid and stable while expanding access to fair and affordable conventional mortgage lending. As Congress and the Biden Administration work to pass the Build Back Better Act, it will be critical to have an FHFA Director who is committed to advancing housing affordability, expanding the dream of homeownership, and closing the racial wealth gap in this country.
“Appointed on June 23 as acting director, Ms. Thompson has needed little time to show this nation how uniquely qualified she is to serve at the helm of FHFA. Her understanding of Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the Federal Home Loan Banks as government-sponsored enterprises (GSE) is undeniable. Her commitment to ensuring that the GSEs are both well capitalized and using their status to expand low-cost mortgage credit to all communities is illustrated in her actions. More importantly, her commitment to accountability and transparency will be invaluable to ensuring the GSEs are operating in the best interest of taxpayers.
“For the past eight years, as Deputy Director of the Division of Housing Mission and Goals (DHMG) of the FHFA, Ms. Thompson has led FHFA’s portfolio in the areas of housing and regulatory policy and mission activities for the GSEs. Before her position at FHFA, Ms. Thompson led efforts at the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation’s (FDIC) Bank Supervision Department for more than 23 years, where she was the first female and first African American to serve in the role. Throughout her career, she has also served in leadership roles at the Resolution Trust Corporation (RTC). Ms. Thompson’s career has been defined by her ability to advance sound financial markets with a fearless commitment to equity and inclusion.
“It is in part due to the past and ongoing lack of representation of people of color in the senior ranks of our financial services regulators that we see stark racial and economic inequities throughout our country today. We will not find a more qualified, more dedicated, or more deserving public servant than Ms. Thompson to lead the FHFA at this moment in our nation’s history. Appointing Ms. Thompson as Director of FHFA is an opportunity that should not be missed..”
Over the last 60 days, Acting Director Thompson has taken the following critical strides to redirect the FHFA and set the agency on a new path forward:
- Eliminated the Adverse Market Refinance Fee to help families take advantage of low-interest rates and reduce their housing costs;
- Issued Policy Statement on Fair Lending to communicate FHFA’s commitment to comprehensive fair lending oversight of our regulated entities;
- Strengthened multifamily tenant protections during the ongoing pandemic by ensuring tenants are given at least 30 days’ notice prior to being required to leave a unit;
- Supported Enterprise efforts to increase financing options for streamlined, affordable small-scale renovations;
- Supported Enterprise efforts to include rental payment history in risk assessment processes, allowing future homeowners to benefit from positive rental payment histories;
- Entered into a first-of-its-kind collaborative agreement with the Department of Housing and Urban Development to strengthen oversight of fair housing and fair lending enforcement;
- Proposed housing goals for the Enterprises that promote equitable access to affordable housing that reaches underserved populations;
- Extended the COVID-19 Real Estate Owned Eviction Moratorium to protect vulnerable Americans;
- Increased the Enterprises’ real estate owned properties First Look Period to 30 days to promote owner occupancy and neighborhood stabilization;
- Increased the Enterprises’ LIHTC Cap to $850 million to support difficult to reach disinvested markets and expand the equitable supply of affordable housing in every community;
- Published demographic data on Housing Goals and Fair Lending to increase transparency and support ongoing dialogues with stakeholders and the public; and
- Directed the Enterprises to submit Equitable Housing Finance Plans to identify and address barriers to fair and sustainable housing opportunities.