WASHINGTON – May 25, 2022 – Lisa Rice, President and CEO of the National Fair Housing Alliance (NFHA), issued the following statement after the Senate confirmed Sandra L. Thompson as Director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA). Thompson will serve as the first Black woman to lead the agency.
“NFHA congratulates Sandra L. Thompson on her historic confirmation as Director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency. Ms. Thompson is an outstanding leader with more than four decades of experience as a civil servant, ensuring markets are safe, sound, accessible, and fair. She is incredibly well-positioned to head the agency that oversees Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the Federal Home Loan Banks (GSEs) and their roles in the $12 trillion mortgage market, particularly during this challenging time in our nation. NFHA looks forward to continued work alongside Director Thompson in the fight to increase and sustain equity in the housing market.
“During her time at the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) and as Acting Director of the FHFA, Ms. Thompson championed a number of issues that helped ensure our mortgage market’s safety and soundness while simultaneously advancing access to credit and homeownership, particularly for people of color. Under her leadership at FHFA, the agency accomplished several firsts, including the issuance of a policy statement on Fair Lending. FHFA also entered a first-of-its-kind Memorandum of Understanding with the Department of Housing and Urban Development to advance fair housing and fair lending enforcement. Moreover, in a groundbreaking move, FHFA required Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae to develop Equitable Housing Finance Plans to identify and address barriers to fair and sustainable housing opportunities. Director Thompson also eliminated the Adverse Market Refinance Fee to help families take advantage of low-interest rates to reduce their housing costs. Additionally, she pushed for increased transparency and data on how well Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are serving the needs of underserved communities in fulfillment of their Affordable Housing Goals.
“Still today, in this land of rich opportunity, sustainable homeownership is a distant dream for far too many. Ms. Thompson is the bold, experienced leader that FHFA and our nation need as we continue to grapple with rising interest rates and housing costs, affordable housing shortages, and unequal access to fair credit. NFHA looks forward to working with Ms. Thompson to ensure the GSEs meet their public interest missions, provide support and liquidity for Special Purpose Credit Programs, address appraisal bias, and eliminate barriers to affordable credit. Every effort must be pursued to ensure our housing and lending institutions work for all, particularly the Black, Latino, Native, and Asian communities federal housing policies have long left behind.”
The National Fair Housing Alliance (NFHA) is the country’s only national civil rights organization dedicated solely to eliminating all forms of housing and lending discrimination and ensuring equal opportunities for all people. As the trade association for over 170 fair housing and justice-centered organizations and individuals throughout the U.S. and its territories, NFHA works to dismantle longstanding barriers to equity and build diverse, inclusive, well-resourced communities.