Credit unions ‘integral’ to FHFA’s housing mission, goals

July 19, 2022

Credit unions are integral to achieving the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s (FHFA) housing mission and goals, CUNA wrote to House Financial Services leadership Tuesday. The committee will conduct its semiannual hearing on FHFA oversight hearing Wednesday with FHFA Director Sandra Thompson scheduled to testify.

“In 2021, credit unions originated $315 billion in first-lien mortgages, selling over 35% into the secondary mortgage market,” the letter reads. “Accordingly, credit unions have a substantial interest in the effective functioning of the FHFA-regulated entities, so they meet their core missions to benefit low- and moderate-income borrowers and communities.”

The letter adds that credit unions:

  • Continue to strongly support equal secondary mortgage market access to lenders of all sizes on an equitable basis as a core requirement of the housing finance system.
  • Are disturbed by the increase in reports of racial discrimination by appraisers reported by the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

CUNA also supports the Housing Finance Equity Plans released recently by government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which make sure of special purpose credit unions (SPCPs).

“Credit unions report significant interest in the creation of SPCPs to serve classes of borrowers in their membership that have been historically disadvantaged,” the letter reads. “However, credit unions also report significant concerns regarding the compliance, legal, and reputational risk of inadvertently making an error in the design of these programs.

“Compliantly designed SPCPs offered by the GSEs will go a long way towards closing this gap,” it adds. Credit unions hope to see the GSEs’ pilot SPCPs find tremendous success, experience a nation-wide roll-out, and be broadened to address additional classes of borrowers.”