Fannie Mae Addresses Inequalities in Housing Faced by Black Renters and Homeowners
Fannie Mae (FNMA/OTCQB) released a three-year Equitable Housing Finance Plan that outlines actions the company will take to knock down barriers faced by Black renters and homeowners throughout their housing journey. The plan builds on recent innovations and efforts Fannie Mae has taken to make mortgages and rental housing more accessible and inclusive.
Fannie Mae’s Equitable Housing Finance Plan focuses on empowering Black renters and homeowners in three key areas:
– Housing preparation: Helping Black consumers prepare early for sustainable homeownership and access to quality rental housing through credit building and financial education.
– Buying or renting: Removing unnecessary obstacles Black people face in shopping for, acquiring, renting or mortgaging a home.
– Moving in and maintaining: Enhancing sustainable homeownership so that renters and homeowners can withstand disruptions or temporary hardships and remain stably housed.
“Our Equitable Housing Finance Plan lays the groundwork to meaningfully address housing barriers faced by Black renters and homeowners,” said David C. Benson, president and interim chief executive officer, Fannie Mae.
“We want to knock down these barriers, one by one, doing our part to undo the legacy of discriminatory practices that perpetuate racial housing gaps in America. The plan is a solid step toward this goal and a milestone in our work to make housing stronger, fairer and more sustainable for the people and communities we serve.”
In addition to addressing the effects of legacy discrimination against Black renters and homeowners, the Equitable Housing Finance Plan’s solutions will benefit all renters and homeowners, including other underserved populations. As the plan matures and evolves, Fannie Mae will expand its focus to the unique challenges faced by other populations, including Latino people and other groups who by virtue of their race, ethnicity, geographic location or other characteristics have been historically underserved by the housing and mortgage finance system.
Fannie Mae’s Equitable Housing Finance Plan is one important element of a much larger corporate environmental, social and governance strategy and the company’s mission to facilitate equitable and sustainable access to homeownership and quality affordable rental housing across America. The company has already begun implementing many aspects of the plan in addition to a number of ongoing efforts to create solutions that help remove obstacles to homeownership. Fannie Mae will continue to collaborate with partners and seek out new stakeholders in the housing industry to achieve the common goal of housing equity. Ongoing actions and goals include:
– Empowering consumers through a robust program of financial and housing education. In January 2022, Fannie Mae introduced HomeViewTM, a comprehensive and free education resource designed to support consumers at every stage of the homeownership journey.
– Changing the way renters and homeowners are served by expanding access to quality affordable rental housing in more high-opportunity neighborhoods, including renters who rely on Housing Choice Vouchers, and by creating a more inclusive credit eligibility system for people who are denied that access today, in a manner that is safe, sustainable and fair. Fannie Mae recently enabled lenders to use a history of timely rental payments as a factor when reviewing mortgage applications, and the company’s RefiNow™ option provides an easier mortgage refinance process and lower upfront costs.
– Encouraging our company and the housing industry at large to better reflect the true diversity of the nation and communities we serve through ongoing efforts such as Future Housing Leaders® and the Appraiser Diversity Initiative.