Tim Mayopoulos on Blend and the future of GSEs
Today’s HousingWire Daily features a crossover with the Housing News podcast, where HousingWire Editor in Chief Sarah Wheeler interviews Tim Mayopoulos, the current president of Blend and former CEO of Fannie Mae. During the episode, Mayopoulos shares his experience helping lead a tech company after his time at Fannie Mae.
He also discusses how the private sector plays an integral role in expanding homeownership, what he’s most looking forward to in the mortgage industry, and his thoughts on the future of GSEs.
Here is a small preview of the interview, which has been lightly edited for length and clarity:
Sarah Wheeler: Expanding homeownership is at the core of the GSE mission as part of its Duty to Serve — encompassing manufactured housing, affordable housing preservation and rural housing. Now, working outside the GSEs, how do you see the role of companies — as opposed to the government — in moving the ball forward?
Tim Mayopoulos: One of the things that people on the single-family mortgage side of the industry sometimes don’t appreciate as much about Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac is, they’re also among the very largest lenders to multifamily property owners. In my view, the goal of the GSEs should not be to promote homeownership at all cost. We’ve seen some of the downsides of putting people into homes they can’t afford as it doesn’t do them any favors and doesn’t do the system any favors. What we should be doing as a country, as a matter of public policy, is ensuring that everybody in America has access to good, reasonably affordable housing they can own or rent. I think that since the crisis, Fannie and Freddie have become a little bit more balanced around thinking about homeownership versus rental.
But there are some very serious challenges the country faces around housing, the most serious challenge being supply. I think that policymakers have done a good job of increasing accessibility to credit. It’s not perfect, there’s still more work to be done, but we have good credit standards now and there’s better credit accessibility than there used to be. However, home prices are a real problem. Rents are a real problem. These are really a function of a lack of supply. That’s not a solution that I believe Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac are easily in a position to do anything about.
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