Statement by National Low Income Housing Coalition President and CEO Sheila Crowley on Swearing in of Mel Watt as Director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency
Today the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) gained new leadership as Mel Watt was sworn in as the new director. Mr. Watt brings deep knowledge of and a fresh set of eyes on some of the most complicated housing policy questions facing our country. I am confident that he will give all issues before him a thorough and objective analysis, backed by his values that are rooted in social and economic justice.
I urge Mr. Watt to act swiftly to enforce Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s statutory obligation to fund the National Housing Trust Fund. The National Low Income Housing Coalition and many other observers agree that the conditions under which this obligation was suspended in 2008 no longer apply. In the ensuing years as the housing market has recovered such that Fannie and Freddie are now making record profits, the shortage of housing for the lowest income people has only become more severe. The need for the National Housing Trust Fund has never been greater.
While I did not agree with former FHFA Acting Director Edward DeMarco about many of his policy decisions, including that about the National Housing Trust Fund, I thank him for his service to the nation as he steered the FHFA through a difficult time and wish him all the best as he steps down.
The National Low Income Housing Coalition stands ready to work with Mr. Watt as he implements a new agenda at FHFA.
Dr. Crowley is available for further comment.