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Biden Administration Urged to Nominate Thompson as FHFA Director

Sandra Thompson (FHFA) Acting Director

Rep. Maxine Waters, Chairwoman of the House Financial Services Committee, has called for Sandra L. Thompson, current Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) Acting Director, to be nominated to lead the agency.

“Today, I call on President Biden to nominate Sandra L. Thompson as Director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency,” said Rep. Waters. “As an independent agency, the FHFA has a statutory obligation to ensure our nation’s housing market remains liquid and stable while expanding access to fair and affordable conventional mortgage lending. As Congress and the Biden Administration work to pass the Build Back Better Act, it will be critical to have an FHFA Director who is committed to advancing housing affordability, expanding the dream of homeownership, and closing the racial wealth gap in this country.”

In late June, the White House appointed Thompson as the Acting Director of the FHFA. A veteran housing and banking regulator, Thompson has served as Deputy Director of the Division of Housing Mission and Goals (DHMG) at FHFA since 2013, where she was responsible for oversight of FHFA’s housing and regulatory policy, capital policy, financial analysis, fair lending, and all mission activities for Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the Federal Home Loan Banks.

Before her position at the FHFA, Thompson led efforts at the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation’s (FDIC) Bank Supervision Department for more than 23 years, where she was the first female and first African American to serve in the role.

“Appointed on June 23 as acting director, Ms. Thompson has needed little time to show this nation how uniquely qualified she is to serve at the helm of FHFA,” said Rep. Waters. “Her understanding of Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the Federal Home Loan Banks as government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) is undeniable. Her commitment to ensuring that the GSEs are both well capitalized and using their status to expand low-cost mortgage credit to all communities is illustrated in her actions. More importantly, her commitment to accountability and transparency will be invaluable to ensuring the GSEs are operating in the best interest of taxpayers.

Supporting Rep. Waters’ push for the nomination, over the last 60 days, Thompson has taken the following steps to redirect the FHFA and embrace equitable housing for all:

  • Eliminated the Adverse Market Refinance Fee to help families take advantage of low-interest rates and reduce their housing costs.
  • Issued Policy Statement on Fair Lending to communicate FHFA’s commitment to comprehensive fair lending oversight of our regulated entities.
  • Strengthened multifamily tenant protections during the ongoing pandemic by ensuring tenants are given at least 30 days’ notice prior to being required to leave a unit.
  • Supported the GSEs’ efforts to increase financing options for streamlined, affordable small-scale renovations.
  • Supported GSE efforts to include rental payment history in risk assessment processes, allowing future homeowners to benefit from positive rental payment histories.
  • Entered into a first-of-its-kind collaborative agreement with the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to strengthen oversight of fair housing and fair lending enforcement.
  • Proposed housing goals for the GSEs that promote equitable access to affordable housing that reaches underserved populations.
  • Extended the COVID-19 Real Estate Owned Eviction Moratorium to protect vulnerable Americans.
  • Increased the GSEs’ real estate-owned (REO) properties First Look Period to 30 days to promote owner occupancy and neighborhood stabilization.
  • Increased the GSEs’ LIHTC Cap to $850 million to support difficult to reach disinvested markets and expand the equitable supply of affordable housing in every community.
  • Published demographic data on Housing Goals and Fair Lending to increase transparency and support ongoing dialogues with stakeholders and the public.
  • Directed the GSEs to submit Equitable Housing Finance Plans to identify and address barriers to fair and sustainable housing opportunities.

“It is in part due to the past and ongoing lack of representation of people of color in the senior ranks of our financial services regulators that we see stark racial and economic inequities throughout our country today,” said Rep. Waters. “We will not find a more qualified, more dedicated, or more deserving public servant than Ms. Thompson to lead the FHFA at this moment in our nation’s history. Appointing Ms. Thompson as Director of FHFA is an opportunity that should not be missed.”

About Author: Eric C. Peck

Eric C. Peck has 20-plus years’ experience covering the mortgage industry, he most recently served as Editor-in-Chief for The Mortgage Press and National Mortgage Professional Magazine. Peck graduated from the New York Institute of Technology where he received his B.A. in Communication Arts/Media. After graduating, he began his professional career with Videography Magazine before landing in the mortgage space. Peck has edited three published books and has served as Copy Editor for Entrepreneur.com.
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