The Senate confirmed on April 4 Mark Calabria to serve a five-year term as director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA). Dr. Calabria will be leading the agency, which governs the activities of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, during a critical period when both Congress and the Administration are considering comprehensive housing finance reform.
Dr. Calabria has held positions as a chief economist for Vice President Mike Pence and deputy assistant secretary for regulatory affairs at HUD, as well as posts at the National Association of Home Builders, the National Association of Realtors, the Cato Institute, and Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies. As a senior aide to the Senate Banking Committee during the drafting of the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008, he played a key role in creating the FHFA he now directs and both the national Housing Trust Fund (HTF) and the Capital Magnet Fund (CMF), which receive their funding from a small assessment on Fannie and Freddie’s annual books of business.
The national Housing Trust Fund is used to build and preserve rental homes affordable to America’s lowest-income renters - seniors, people with disabilities, families with children, people experiencing homelessness, veterans and other individuals most impacted by the nation’s growing affordable housing crisis. The HTF is woefully underfunded compared to the need; fewer than four homes are affordable and available for every 10 of the nation’s lowest-income renters. Housing finance reform offers an outstanding opportunity to increase funding to the HTF to address this dire shortage of affordable homes.
When asked if he would commit to continue funding for the Housing Trust Fund and the Capital Magnet Fund in his confirmation hearing in February, Dr. Calabria said, “within the confines of the statute, absolutely yes.” In a joint op-ed from 2017, NLIHC president and CEO Diane Yentel and Dr. Calabria stated that “scarce federal resources should be targeted to those who need them the most . . . through programs like the national Housing Trust Fund and rental assistance.”
Read NLIHC’s statement on Dr. Calabria’s confirmation at: https://bit.ly/2OUoUAo