Bush Signs Housing Bill, Creates FHFA

President Bush has signed into law the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008, which authorizes the Department of the Treasury to purchase obligations of the government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs), reforms the regulatory supervision of the housing GSEs, provides reform of the Federal Housing Administration, provides homeownership assistance and reforms to mitigate recent increases in foreclosures, and contains housing-related tax incentives and other tax provisions.

According to a statement from James Lockhart, director of the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight, the act ‘creates a world-class, empowered regulator – the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) – with all the authorities necessary to oversee vital components of our country's secondary mortgage markets – Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the Federal Home Loan Banks – at a very challenging time.’

‘For more than two years as director of OFHEO, I have worked to help create FHFA so that this new GSE regulator has far greater authorities than its predecessors,’ Lockhart adds. ‘As director of FHFA, I commit that we will use these authorities to ensure that the housing GSEs provide stability and liquidity to the mortgage market, support affordable housing and operate safely and soundly.’

Sources: White House, OFHEO

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