FHFA Director Mel Watt to keynote on GSE reform at Brookings Institution

Mel Watt

Mel Watt

Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) Director Mel Watt will discuss reform of government-sponsored enterprises Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac at an event at the Brookings Institution later this month.

The event, which will be held from 9:30-11 a.m. on May 13, will examine the role Fannie and Freddie play in the housing finance system.

Legislators have introduced several bills aimed at reforming the housing finance system. Sens. Tim Johnson (D-S.D.) and Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) released a housing finance reform bill similar to one proposed by Sens. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) and Mark Warner (D-Va.).

Both of the bills would wind down Fannie and Freddie and both would replace the GSEs with a new government enterprise. While the Johnson-Crapo bill would require a down payment of 3.5 percent for first-time homebuyers, the Corker-Warner approach would require a five percent down payment.

At the Brookings event, Watt will discuss FHFA’s strategic plans for Fannie and Freddie in the coming year, after which housing and consumer experts will discuss pending legislation and the current housing market.

Other experts expected to participate in the event include CoreLogic Chief Economist Mark Fleming; Center for Responsible Lending President Michael Calhoun; Phillip Swagel, an international economic policy professor at the University of Maryland; and Mike Malloy, the executive of mortgage policy and counterparty relations at Bank of America.

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