Senators’ Letter to Director Watt: January 2014

Press release on Senator Schumer’s official website:

12.11.14
SCHUMER APPLAUDS FHFA DIRECTOR MEL WATT FOR ORDERING THE CAPITALIZATION OF THE NATIONAL HOUSING TRUST FUND

http://www.schumer.senate.gov/newsroom/press-releases/schumer-applauds-fhfa-director-mel-watt-for-ordering-the-capitalization-of-the-national-housing-trust-fund

“Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have since fully repaid the taxpayers.

In addition to being one of the authors on the legislation to create the National Housing Trust Fund, Senator Schumer along with 32 of his Senator Colleagues wrote to FHFA Director Mel Watt urging him to fund the National Housing Trust Fund and The Capital Magnet Fund.”

The letter that Senator Schumer references was written and signed by 33 Senators in January 2014 and is posted here:

January 24, 2014

The Honorable Mel Watt
Director
Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA)
400 7th Street, SW
Washington, DC 20024

Dear Director Watt:

We write first to congratulate you on being confirmed and sworn in as Director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA). We also share your concern about the need for more affordable rental housing in this country and ask that you end the suspension of contributions to the National Housing Trust Fund (NHTF) and the Capital Magnet Fund (CMF), in a manner fully consistent with all applicable laws, rules, and regulations.

The affordable rental housing crisis that prompted Congress, on a bipartisan basis, to create the NHTF and CMF has only gotten worse in the last five years. Since passage of the Housing and Economic Recovery Act in 2008, the number of homes that are affordable to renters with incomes at or below 30 percent of area median income decreased by more than 1 million units. According to the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies, there is currently a national shortage of nearly 5 million units affordable and available to extremely low-income renters. Funding the NHTF and CMF would help ameliorate this crisis.

We are all committed to reforming the mortgage finance system and do not believe Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac should be returned to their previous form. However, directing much needed funding for affordable rental housing should not wait until Congress and the President are able to agree on a new system. The time is long overdue to lift the current suspension of contributions to the NHTF and CMF, and we ask your full and fair consideration of our request.

We look forward to hearing from you in a timely fashion and working with you as FHFA Director on this and other important matters.

Sincerely,

Jack Reed
United States Senator

Barbara Boxer
United States Senator

Elizabeth Warren
United States Senator

Bernard Sanders
United States Senator

Patrick Leahy
United States Senator

Richard Blumenthal
United States Senator

Carl Levin
United States Senator

Jeff Merkley
United States Senator

Chris Murphy
United States Senator

Ed Markey
United States Senator

Jeanne Shaheen
United States Senator

Debbie Stabenow
United States Senator

Tim Kaine
United States Senator

Kirsten Gillibrand
United States Senator

Cory Booker
United States Senator

Al Franken
United States Senator

Ron Wyden
United States Senator

Mazie Hirono
United States Senator

Richard J. Durbin
United States Senator

Robert P. Casey, Jr.
United States Senator

Tammy Baldwin
United States Senator

Amy Klobuchar
United States Senator

Tom Harkin
United States Senator

Sherrod Brown
United States Senator

Sheldon Whitehouse
United States Senator

Dianne Feinstein
United States Senator

Robert Menendez
United States Senator

Charles E. Schumer
United States Senator

Patty Murray
United States Senator

Benjamin L. Cardin
United States Senator

Barbara Mikulski
United States Senator

Brian Schatz
United States Senator

Mary Landrieu
United States Senator

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