Washington, D.C. – RealEstateRama – The National Fair Housing Alliance® (“NFHA™”) and allied advocacy organizations have submitted a comment letter to the Federal Housing Finance Agency (“FHFA”) in response to FHFA’s request for comments on its comprehensive review of the Federal Home Loan Banks (“FHLBanks”).
“The FHLBanks receive tremendous public subsidies and private benefits while providing comparatively little in return to the public’s interest,” said Nikitra Bailey, NFHA’s Executive Vice President. “Last year, the FHLBanks provided only $314.7 million in affordable housing subsidies nationwide, while paying out more than $1 billion in dividends to their member financial institutions. For that reason, we urge FHFA to ensure that the affordable housing requirement is substantially increased. A substantial portion of that amount should be dedicated to centering equity and remedying existing racial homeownership and wealth gaps by affirmatively furthering fair housing, consistent with the FHLBanks’ obligations under the Fair Housing Act.”
“Homeownership has long been a path into the middle class and economic security for families in the U.S. Unfortunately, our nation’s long history of discriminatory housing policies has created distinct advantages for White families, leading to massive homeownership, credit, and wealth gaps that persist today,” said Ms. Bailey. “Despite the tremendous public subsidies received by the FHLBanks, including an implied federal guarantee and tax exemptions, the FHLBanks are only required to provide a minimal public benefit in the form of directing 10 percent of their net income to the Affordable Housing Program. FHFA should strongly encourage the FHLBanks to substantially exceed rather than merely meet the statutory threshold of directing 10 percent of their net income to affordable housing. FHFA should emphasize that the FHLBanks should aim for a race to the top in providing meaningful fair and affordable housing benefits, rather than a race to the bottom that merely meets the statutory floor.”
We commend FHFA for undertaking a comprehensive review of the FHLBank structure and urge FHFA to incorporate the following suggestions:
NFHA is joined by the following organizations as signatories to the comment letter:
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.
Contact: Izzy Woodruff | 202-898-1661 |