FHFA Leaves 2021 GSE Housing Goals Unchanged

With current housing goals set to expire in December, and amid economic uncertainty stemming from the lingering coronavirus pandemic, the Federal Housing Finance Agency yesterday left 2021 housing goals for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac unchanged from the previous three years.

“Due to the economic uncertainty related to the COVID-19 national pandemic, FHFA is proposing benchmarks for calendar year 2021 only, and those levels will remain the same as they were for 2018-2020,” FHFA said. “Once finalized, the proposed benchmark levels would extend those benchmarks that are currently set to expire on December 31, 2020.”

The proposed rule would establish both single-family and multifamily housing goals.

Single-Family Housing Goals

To meet a single-family housing goal or subgoal, the percentage of mortgage purchases by an Enterprise that meets each goal or subgoal must exceed either the benchmark level set in advance by FHFA or the market level for that year. The market level is determined retrospectively each year, based on the actual goal-qualifying share of the overall market as measured by FHFA based on Home Mortgage Disclosure Act data for that year.

Multifamily Housing Goals

To meet a multifamily housing goal or subgoal, an Enterprise must purchase mortgages on multifamily properties (properties with five or more units) with rental units affordable to families in each category, as well as a subgoal for properties with 5-50 units.  FHFA measures Enterprise multifamily goals performance against benchmark levels set by FHFA.

The proposed rule can be found at https://www.fhfa.gov/SupervisionRegulation/Rules/Pages/2021-Enterprise-Housing-Goals-Proposed-Rule.aspx.