The Federal Housing Finance Agency, conservator to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac today unveiled its "Duty to Serve" initiative.

The FHFA is seeking comments on Duty to Serve, which seeks to establish the following:

"This statute requires Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (the Enterprises) to serve three specified underserved markets:  manufactured housing, affordable housing preservation and rural markets," said the FHFA in a statement.

"The proposed rule would require the Enterprises to adopt plans to improve the distribution and availability of mortgage financing in a safe and sound manner for residential properties that serve very low-, low-, and moderate-income families in the three specified underserved markets."

The changes are further outlined in this Reuters article

"The change would allow borrowers to take out mortgages with greater protections and lower default rates, according to the proposal.

It also proposed creating plans to preserve affordable housing for renters and owners that include purchasing loan pools on small multifamily rental properties and energy retrofit loans on single-family properties.

For rural areas, FHFA is considering expanding lending by modifying underwriting guidelines, increasing rural loan purchases and providing technical assistance to small lenders working in the areas."

Here is the fact sheet for the plan, comments are open for 90 days.

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