NCRC applauds FHFA’s proposed expansion of affordable housing goals, and a new goal specific for minority communities

Today, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) proposed 2022-2024 single-family and multifamily housing goals for the government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs), Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. In addition to proposing higher annual benchmarks in some categories, the agency proposes new single-family subgoals focused on communities of color and that respond to concerns about displacement in low-income communities.

Jesse Van Tol, President and CEO of the National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC), made the following statement:

“The affordable housing goals proposed today are a significant step in the right direction and signal a renewed commitment to the affordable housing mission of the GSEs. FHFA has proposed higher and more realistic targets for both home purchase and refinance lending to low-income homebuyers – targets that hadn’t changed since goals were set in 2015. Since then, housing prices have gone through the roof and affordable homeownership has become an impossible dream for too many low- and moderate-income families with steady incomes. The country is in an affordable homeownership crisis and we are pleased to see FHFA setting goals that direct the GSEs to assert more market leadership.  

“A new goal focused exclusively on communities of color is a big deal and a bold move. While the current goals also encourage lending in communities of color, the GSEs can meet that goal in other ways. A targeted goal set aggressively has the potential to focus the conventional conforming market in ways that could register some progress on the nation’s racial wealth and homeownership gaps. The GSEs must also focus on ways to increase their purchases of loans to homebuyers of color to move the needle. While stronger affordable housing goals won’t close these gaps by themselves, the nation certainly cannot meet the president’s goals for advancing racial equity without FHFA and the GSEs reevaluating their policies and setting a new direction laser-focused on meeting the scale of the affordable housing challenges facing borrowers and communities of color. 

“Thanks to FHFA acting director Sandra Thompson for leading the agency toward more ambitious goals and a more ambitious vision for a more equitable housing finance system that enables more Americans to buy homes and accumulate personal wealth.”

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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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