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FHFA’s Calabria Calls for Industry Feedback

Amid this year's challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic and the related economic fallout, one of the more significant industry stories of 2020 has been the FHFA's ongoing push to bring Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac out from under the conservatorship they were placed in during the previous financial crisis. Now FHFA Director Mark Calabria has called on the industry itself for feedback relating to the plan for the future of the GSEs.

The FHFA has published its strategic plan for fiscal years 2021-2024, which lays out the Agency's framework of goals for the next few years. Unsurprisingly, one primary focus is FHFA's move toward "responsibly" ending Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac's conservatorships.

You can read the full Strategic Plan for fiscal years 2021-2024  in full by clicking here.

In his introduction to the plan, Calabria said that "The goals and milestones laid out in the plan ensure that that FHFA's supervision is strong, well executed and fulfills all statutory requirements, including ending the conservatorships."

In addition to the GSEs' obligation to prepare for autonomy, the FHFA must plan for its own "post-conservatorship role as a world-class regulator," Calabria said.

The agency, he said, already has acted on some of the aspirations detailed in the newly published plan. For example it recently created the Office of Equal Opportunity and Fairness.

He also applauded the Agency's capable handling of the COVID-19 crisis.

"I am proud of what FHFA has done, working with the regulated entities, to respond to the pandemic," he said. "Starting even before the national emergency declaration, FHFA had begun taking actions to support borrowers and renters and ensure the proper functioning of the mortgage market."

The plan establishes three strategic goals for the agency, as well as several related objectives within each goal:

  1. Strategic Goal 1: Ensure safe and sound regulated entities through world-class supervision
    1. Objective 1.1: Ensure the safety and soundness of the regulated entities through risk-focused supervision
    2. Objective 1.2: Develop and maintain a world-class supervision program
    3. Objective 1.3: Responsibly end the conservatorships of the Enterprises
  2. Foster competitive, liquid, efficient, and resilient (CLEAR) national housing finance markets
    1. Objective 2.1: Institute reforms at the regulated entities that serve to foster CLEAR national housing finance markets
    2. Objective 2.2: Ensure that the regulated entities fulfill their statutory missions to support affordable housing, community development, and diversity and inclusion requirements.
    3. Objective 2.3: Position FHFA as a leader in providing the public with information and analysis on the state of the housing finance markets and related matters
  3. Position the Agency as a model of operational excellence by strengthening the workforce and infrastructure
    1. Objective 3.1: Cultivate a high-performing, diverse, accountable, and engaged workforce.
    2. Objective 3.2: Ensure sound governance and good stewardship of Agency resources
    3. Objective 3.3: Deliver information technology resources and systems that support the Agency's mission and safeguard the Agency's resources.

Change, of course, is rarely without obstacle. The FHFA plan also outlines potential challenges that may impair progress toward these goals, including the safety and soundness of the regulated entities, the legislative and regulatory environment, and FHFA's workforce and infrastructure.

Regardless of what the months ahead hold, these changes at the FHFA stand to greatly impact the housing market in the years to come. Industry stakeholders can submit feedback on the plan to FHFA.gov through Monday, October 5.

About Author: Christina Hughes Babb

Christina Hughes Babb is a reporter for DS News and MReport. A graduate of Southern Methodist University, she has been a reporter, editor, and publisher in the Dallas area for more than 15 years. During her 10 years at Advocate Media and Dallas Magazine, she published thousands of articles covering local politics, real estate, development, crime, the arts, entertainment, and human interest, among other topics. She has won two national Mayborn School of Journalism Ten Spurs awards for nonfiction, and has penned pieces for Texas Monthly, Salon.com, Dallas Observer, Edible, and the Dallas Morning News, among others.
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