Today, the Federal Housing Finance Agency, with the Treasury Department and Department of Housing and Urban Development, announced a Request For Information (RFI), seeking input on new options for selling single-family real estate owned (REO) properties held by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and the Federal Housing Administration (FHA). We’re seeking your input to help explore alternatives for maximizing value to taxpayers and increasing private investment in the housing market, including approaches that support rental and affordable housing needs.
So submit your suggested approaches that help achieve the RFI’s objectives, which include:
- reducing the real estate owned portfolios of Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and FHA in a cost-effective manner;
- reducing average loan loss severities to Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and FHA relative to individual distressed property sales;
- addressing property repair and rehabilitation needs;
- responding to economic and real estate conditions in specific geographies;
- assisting in neighborhood and home price stabilization efforts; and
- suggesting analytic approaches to determine the appropriate disposition strategy for individual properties, whether sale, rental, or, in certain instances, demolition.
FHFA, Treasury and HUD anticipate respondents may best address these objectives through REO to rental structures, but respondents are encouraged to propose strategies they believe best accomplish the RFI’s objectives. Proposed strategies, transactions, and venture structures may also include:
- programs for previous homeowners to rent properties or for current renters to become owners (“lease-to-own”);
- strategies through which REO assets could be used to support markets with a strong demand for rental units and a substantial volume of REO;
- a mechanism for private owners of REO inventory to eventually participate in the transactions; and
- support for affordable housing.
Responses are requested by September 15. You can email them to REO.RFI@fhfa.gov.
Anthony Coley is Deputy Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs, Domestic Finance.