The Federal Housing Finance Agency today issued its strategic plan for 2021-2024. Building on its plan for GSEs Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to exit conservatorship, the plan emphasizes improving FHFA supervision to provide oversight for post-conservatorship GSEs; instituting reforms to foster competitive, liquid, efficient, and resilient, or “CLEAR,” national housing finance markets; and ensuring the safety and soundness of the Federal Home Loan Banks.
To ensuring the GSEs foster CLEAR housing markets, FHFA said it will “ensure a fair playing field for large and small lenders” when dealing with Fannie and Freddie and establish standards for institutions that sell to or service on behalf of the GSEs. As with last year’s strategic plan, the goals are designed to align with 2019 reform plans released last year by the Department of Treasury and Housing and Urban Development to ensure a resilient housing finance system.
The plan also identified COVID-19 as a major challenge to achieving FHFA’s goals. Noting that the GSEs helped support the housing market and that mortgage activity has recovered after the early months of the coronavirus pandemic, FHFA warned that the GSEs “currently lack the capital to withstand a serious housing downturn,” underscoring the importance of helping them build loss-absorbing capital and moving them out of conservatorship.