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Financial Services Chairman Calls for End of GSEs

NOVEMBER 6, 2018
Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-TX), retiring Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, has called for an end to the two Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs) – Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac – and the repeal of their federal government charters.

In a Press Release (copy attached) issued on November 2, 2018, the Chairman of the House Committee with oversight responsibility for the GSEs’ federal regulator – the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) – and, by extension, the GSEs themselves, called the “GSE model a failure,” and asserted that “it is time for it to [be] end[ed]” through “meaningful housing finance reform legislation that protects taxpayers, encourages greater private sector participation, and once and for all … repeals the GSEs’ government charters.”

Perhaps nowhere else has the GSEs’ failure to comply with their respective charters — and their failure to serve the lower and moderate-income homebuyers that they were specifically created to help – had a more profoundly negative impact than in the manufactured housing market and, most especially, the 80% of the manufactured housing market comprised of personal property, or “chattel” loans.

Even in the face of an express statutory directive from Congress to finally begin serving the manufactured housing market, including the chattel loans relied upon to finance the industry’s most affordable homes (i.e., the “Duty to Serve Underserved Markets” mandate of the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008), the GSEs – which for decades have refused to provide securitization or secondary market support for manufactured housing loans – have remained defiant and non-compliant, refusing to provide any level of market-significant support for the vast bulk of manufactured home chattel loans. The resulting harm to lower and moderate-income American homebuyers, in the form of either total exclusion from the housing market or higher interest rates than would be the case otherwise, is indefensible and should be unacceptable to the industry, Congress and FHFA.  Moreover, these extreme negative impacts have been facilitated and exacerbated by the absence of independent, national representation for the industry’s post-production sector in the nation’s capital to aggressively address this matter, not only with FHFA and the GSEs, but with Congress and the Administration as well.

Accordingly, regardless of whether the House of Representatives, following today’s election, is controlled by Democrats or Republicans, the underlying failure of the GSEs and the “GSE model” has been exposed, and the GSEs’ continuing failure to properly serve the manufactured housing chattel market – despite the DTS mandate — will be a major issue going forward, potentially providing the industry’s post-production sector with a second chance to ensure that securitization and secondary market support for manufactured housing and manufactured home chattel loans are provided by the GSEs on a market-significant basis.

This issue will be discussed in more detail at MHARR’s upcoming Board of Directors meeting.

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