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Perspectives Blog

Expanding Our Commitment to a More Equitable Housing System

April 5, 2023
Katrina Jones
Katrina Jones

Vice President of Housing Equity Strategy & Impact

When we launched the three-year Equitable Housing Finance Plan in 2022, our objective was to remove or reduce the barriers to sustainable homeownership and affordable rental housing confronted by people who – by design, neglect, or indifference – have historically been excluded or ignored by the housing finance system.

That remains our goal, but this year we are stretching our ambitions in some meaningful ways.

This month we updated the Equitable Housing Finance Plan (the Plan) for 2023. We are expanding pilot programs based on last year's successes. We are launching new initiatives that we believe, in time, could have a significant impact on the upfront costs of housing, on accessibility to mortgage credit, and on housing stability, for years to come. And, importantly, we applied new research to our Consumer Housing Journey roadmap to ensure our actions address the needs of Latino renters and homeowners.

Our Plan anticipates growth in special purpose credit programs geared toward helping people in majority Black and Latino communities to buy their first home. We have created and implemented innovative ways to help people qualify for a mortgage, even if they have insufficient credit history. We have launched our Social Index to help translate investor interest in socially conscious investing into savings for underserved borrowers. Fannie Mae's comprehensive valuation modernization program is a significant step in the work to reduce bias, improve accuracy, and reduce costs.

Additionally, we're focused on providing housing counseling to address various needs and challenges faced by renters, potential homebuyers, and homeowners. After completing over 11,000 counseling sessions in 2022 specifically addressing homeownership needs, we are expanding our efforts this year to help those facing financial hardship and improving access to information for long-term housing safety and stability. We are also working alongside industry partners like HUD to bring comprehensive counseling opportunities to those in need and to test new counseling services in various parts of the country. These enhancements are part of our broader vision to knock down barriers in the housing system.

Those are just a few highlights, made possible by industry-wide collaboration and participation. I encourage consumers and our many partners to read our Plan to learn more.

While the Plan covers three years, we know that Fannie Mae's work to make housing more equitable is a long-term project that will take many years, many partners, and many learnings before we can claim anything like success. But we are determined to work on making a fundamentally fairer and more equitable future for housing, no matter how long it takes.