FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 23, 2021
Media Contact: Izzy Woodruff | 202-898-1661 | IWoodruff@nationalfairhousing.org
National Fair Housing Alliance Issues Statement on Supreme Court Ruling Regarding the Federal Housing Finance Agency
Washington, D.C. — Today, Lisa Rice, President and CEO of the National Fair Housing Alliance (NFHA), issued the following statement on the Supreme Court’s ruling regarding the Federal Housing Finance Agency, which oversees Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac:
“Today, the Supreme Court ruled that the Director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) can be removed by the President at will. According to media reports, President Biden is taking steps to replace the FHFA’s current Director. It is imperative that the next Director have a demonstrated commitment to racial equity and ensure Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac fulfill their charter mandate to provide mortgages for housing for low- and moderate-income families and ‘promote access to mortgage credit’ for ‘central cities, rural areas, and underserved areas’ throughout the nation.
“The Enterprises have fallen short when it comes to providing credit access to underserved communities. Less than 5 percent of Enterprise-backed loans in recent years have gone to Black borrowers. The Black-White homeownership gap is as large today as it was when redlining was legal. The Enterprises continue to require the use of an outdated credit score model in lieu of adopting models that are more up-to-date and may have less discriminatory outcomes. The FHFA is still requiring the Enterprises use a matrix that results in borrowers of color being disproportionately charged higher pricing. Moreover, in the face of numerous accounts of appraisal bias, the FHFA should be taking greater measures to reduce disparate outcomes.
“It is imperative that the new Director ensure the Enterprises are fully complying with fair housing and lending laws, including the Fair Housing Act’s Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing provision.
“Closing the racial wealth and homeownership gaps will provide more housing stability for families, strengthen communities, increase the U.S.’s GDP, and make our nation more productive. The FHFA plays a critical role in making this happen.”
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. Through its homeownership, credit access, tech equity, education, member services, public policy, community development, and enforcement initiatives, NFHA works to dismantle longstanding barriers to equity and build diverse, inclusive, well-resourced communities.