Coalition of Community Organizations Calls on President Obama to Recess Appoint an FHFA Director


Washington, DC — Today, hundreds of community organizations sent a letter to President Obama calling on him to make a recess appointment to the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA). FHFA is currently led by an Acting Director, Ed DeMarco, who has refused to allow Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which hold the majority of the mortgages in the country, to participate in a key administration principal reduction program.

“The administration saying that their hands are tied on FHFA, when the President has the ability to name an FHFA Director through a recess appointment, is akin to telling someone “my dog ate my homework,” said NCRC President and CEO John Taylor. “It’s time for the President to step up and use his power to make a recess appointment to deliver much needed relief to American homeowners, who are still paying the price for a housing market which crashed because of malfeasant industry practices, not through any fault of their own.”

“Despite the Obama administration’s continued efforts to work with FHFA Acting Director DeMarco, he has shown that he will not budge on principal reductions at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Doing principal reductions at the GSEs is in all of our best interests, as it would not only help homeowners, and save taxpayers money, but also benefit the housing market and our flagging economy. This is too important an issue to continue to leave the director position at FHFA unfilled.”

DeMarco recently announced that he will not allow Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to participate in the Home Affordable Refinance Program Principal Reduction Alternative (HAMP-PRA). FHFA’s analysis shows that allowing the GSEs to participate in HAMP-PRA the could benefit up to 500 thousand homeowners, save $3.6 billion for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and $1 billion for taxpayers.

NCRC has long called upon DeMarco to allow principal reductions on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loans.

About the National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC):

The National Community Reinvestment Coalition is an association of more than 600 community-based organizations that promote access to basic banking services, including credit and savings, to create and sustain affordable housing, job development and vibrant communities for America’s working families. To find out more, visit http://ncrcdev.local.

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Redlining and Neighborhood Health

Before the pandemic devastated minority communities, banks and government officials starved them of capital.

Lower-income and minority neighborhoods that were intentionally cut off from lending and investment decades ago today suffer not only from reduced wealth and greater poverty, but from lower life expectancy and higher prevalence of chronic diseases that are risk factors for poor outcomes from COVID-19, a new study shows.

The new study, from the National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC) with researchers from the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee Joseph J. Zilber School of Public Health and the University of Richmond’s Digital Scholarship Lab, compared 1930’s maps of government-sanctioned lending discrimination zones with current census and public health data.

Table of Content

  • Executive Summary
  • Introduction
  • Redlining, the HOLC Maps and Segregation
  • Segregation, Public Health and COVID-19
  • Methods
  • Results
  • Discussion
  • Conclusion and Policy Recommendations
  • Citations
  • Appendix

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