The US Senate floor was lively in January with over 30 Democrats urging initiatives to help Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae to continue working on affordable housing programs. There are two unused funds that have been established by Congress since 2008, in order to finance such programs- using a part of the two organization’s revenue to fund it. In November, funds were suspended by the Federal Housing Finance Agency, which regulates both companies.
There has been a rapid turn around for both companies, after the massive losses of the mortgage crisis. They are actually seeing record profits and those 33 lawmakers were pointing out that it’s time for the agency to begin contributing again to help change the straits for low income Americans currently facing a shortage of affordable housing options. It’s really no surprise that the charge was lead by Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Bernie Sanders of Vermont, and Jack Reed of Rhode Island. They have all been very vocal in the fight to help the impoverished in America.
The newly appointed director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency Mel Watt also stated that, “The time is long overdue to lift the current suspension of contributions, and we ask your full and fair consideration of our request.” Since the 2008 government take over of the agencies, the two have received $187.5 billion in US aid but have since paid around $185.2 billion back in dividends to to government. The recent surge in the housing market played a key role in turning things around.
Originally created as two housing trust funds to help provide a source of revenue for low income housing, these funds were to be used to help rehab existing units or to help finance new homes for families that live near or below the poverty line.