The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), in consultation with HUD and the Department of the Treasury, released a Request for Information (RFI) on August 10 seeking input on options for the sale of single-family real estate owned (REO) properties owned by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) and the government sponsored enterprises (GSEs), Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
FHA, Fannie Mae, and Freddie Mac collectively have listed for sale approximately 92,000 REO single-family properties acquired through foreclosure. The Administration intends to reduce the number of properties held by FHA and the GSEs, increase private investment in the housing market, and “where feasible and appropriate, improve the supply of rental housing.” The purpose of the RFI is to gather recommendations on how to meet these and other objectives related to neighborhood stabilization and cost savings.
FHFA, Treasury, and HUD anticipate that the most effective way to meet these objectives is through the conversion of REOs into rental properties, but “respondents are encouraged to propose strategies they believe best accomplish the RFI’s objectives,” and are not limited to providing feedback on REO to rental structures.
Specifically, two types of comments are solicited: comments from a broad range of stakeholders who have specific suggestions about how to best dispose of the properties while meeting the objectives outlined in the RFI, and comments from “market participants that have the technical and financial capability to engage in large-scale transactions with the Enterprises and/or FHA.”
All comments are due to FHFA by September 15. Detailed instructions on how to submit comments are available in the RFI.
NLIHC will submit recommendations on how to use REO properties to create rental housing affordable for extremely low income families and individuals, and encourages other advocates to also try to influence the outcome. These properties are publicly owned housing resources and some of them should be used to assist low income renters.
A link to a press release announcing the RFI is available at http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/HUD?src=/press/press_releases_media_advisories/2011/HUDNo.11-167
The RFI is available at http://www.fhfa.gov/webfiles/22366/RFIFinal081011.pdf
A breakdown of listed properties by state and community is available at http://nlihc.org/doc/REO_Properties_7-18-11.pdf