FHFA director faces criticism from former allies

Housing advocates want more change

Housing advocates that originally pushed President Barack Obama to appoint Mel Watt as the director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency are frustrated with Watt’s lack of changes to housing policy since he took over. Per Bloomberg:

The National Low Income Housing Coalition and other groups said they expected Watt, the most powerful housing official in America, to move quickly to help troubled borrowers and lower-income families shut out of the two-year housing recovery. Instead, he is maneuvering cautiously, asking for public feedback on many issues — and earning accolades from the mortgage industry.

“Mel Watt has been a huge disappointment,” said Peter Dreier, a public policy professor at Occidental College in Los Angeles who wrote a paper arguing that the FHFA should allow debt reductions for borrowers with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac mortgages. “No one I know in the housing community understands why he’s sitting on his hands.”

Since taking office, Watt began a nationwide public campaign in July to visit targeted cities with the highest number of in-the-money borrowers who have yet to take advantage of a HARP refinance.

Here's a link to HousingWire’s exclusive interview with Mel Watt in the directors’ first interview since being appointed. 

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