CUNA Leaders Meet FHFA Interim Director on Housing Priorities | 2021-08-03

CUNA President / CEO Jim Nussle, Deputy Director of Advocacy Elizabeth Eurgubian and Senior Director of Advocacy and Counseling Elizabeth LaBerge spoke with Acting Director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), Sandra Thompson, Monday afternoon. The group discussed housing finance priorities for credit unions.

“We thank Acting Director Thompson for her time, as well as her willingness to discuss our priorities and the need to ensure the affordability, stability and sustainability of our housing finance system going forward.” , Nussle said. “Nonprofit financial cooperatives are at the heart of the statutory mission of federal mortgage banks and government sponsored businesses, and we look forward to continuing our engagement with the FHFA. “

CUNA wrote to Thompson after being appointed interim director, listing short and long-term housing finance priorities for credit unions. A short-term priority has already been accomplished, as the FHFA announced it would waive the adverse market charge by 0.5%.

Other short-term priorities include the call to the FHFA to:

  • Review its policies regarding the purchase of qualified mortgage loans eligible under the current regulatory framework of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).
  • Restructure the GSE approach for the implementation of the 7% cap on investment loans and loans to second homes.
  • Review the fourth set of amendments to the Amended and Updated Preferred Share Purchase Agreement with Treasury at the earliest opportunity.

In the longer term, the CUNA calls on the FHFA to:

  • Collaborate with credit unions to continue its mission of supporting sustainable and affordable home ownership.
  • Address racial prejudice among reviewers by
    • Review the education and training requirements for assessors to ensure they understand their obligations under the FHA and their own unconscious biases.
    • Improve the number and diversity of qualified assessors.
    • Increase the role of technology in the assessment process, where appropriate.
  • Take steps to enable Federal Home Loan Banks (FHLBanks) to fulfill their mission, including:
    • Ensure that individual FHLBanks retain the ability to exercise their own discretion, given that they have a better understanding of their communities and their risks.
    • Enabling them to provide ancillary services which should not require insured depositories to maintain their membership.
    • Protect their ability to operate in a financially secure and healthy manner to serve primarily as a source of liquidity for the housing finance system.
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