Rise of the Rentals

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62 | Th e M Rep o RT O r i g i nat i O n s e r v i c i n g a na ly t i c s s e c O n da r y m a r k e t SECONDARY MARKET LocaL edition coalition launches to Protect shareholders in Fannie, Freddie debate The arrival of a new player underscores whaT's aT sTake in housing finance reform. Washington d.c. // A new group has launched on the side of shareholders in the ongoing debate for the future of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Calling itself the "Coalition for Mortgage Security," the group describes itself as a bipartisan, grassroots organization with the goal of reforming housing finance "in a way that benefits and fairly treats current and fu- ture homeowners, taxpayers, and investors across the country." "Our mission is to ensure that the federal government enacts legislation that responsibly winds down Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and sets up a new system funded by private capital with a limited government role and strong regulatory oversight," the group says on its website. The coalition's launch comes as the Senate Banking Committee prepares to go over a recently introduced bill that would wind down the two enterprises and create a limited government back- stop in the form of an FDIC-like federal mortgage corporation. Lawmakers aren't the only group focusing on the two companies now that they've fin- ished paying back their bailouts. Investors, prompted by a change to Fannie and Freddie's bailout terms that require them to pay all profits to the U.S. Treasury, have stepped forward to get their cut, filing lawsuits against the government and urging the companies' boards to return to their normal courses of business. The coalition also voiced its dis- approval of the government's move, listing as one of its three principles: "The rule of law is the basis for American capitalism and must be acknowledged and respected in or- der for properly functioning capital markets. . . . The rules of the game cannot be changed in the middle of an inning." According to the group, its other two driving principles are the replacement of the GSEs with private companies funded by private capital and the con- tinued availability of the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage, "which is the main engine of the housing market and the primary avenue for sustainable homeownership." While the Coalition for Mortgage Security revealed little else about itself immediately fol- lowing its launch—including its funding sources—Reuters reports it is directed by Ken Blackwell, a senior U.S. housing official under President H.W. Bush. HUd gives grants for Homeless assistance Programs The 2015 budgeT calls for more even as The governmenT cuTs back. Washington d.c. // The government renewed its support for homeless assistance programs across the United States with the awarding of $1.6 billion in grants. The funding, provided through HUD's Continuum of Care Program, will support op- erations for nearly 7,100 homeless housing programs in every state as well as Puerto Rico, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, the agency announced in a release. Additional grant funding will go to hundreds of other local programs in the coming weeks. Grants are awarded competitively to local projects created to meet the needs of individuals and families suffering from homelessness in their communities. The funding goes to a wide variety of programs ranging from street outreach and assessment to transitional and permanent housing for the homeless. "Whether it's helping to rapidly re-house families with young children or finding a permanent home for an individual with serious health conditions, HUD is working with our local partners to end homelessness as we know it," said secretary Shaun Donovan. Indeed, HUD estimates that from 2010–2013, the administration's housing programs helped bring the long-term or chronic homeless population down by 15.7 percent. While touting the various successes of the nation's homelessness programs, however, Donovan also noted how they have suffered from budget cuts due to sequestration, saying, "[A]ny reduction to HUD's homeless assistance programs has a negative impact on local communities' ability to reduce the number of persons living in our shelters and on our streets." President Obama's 2015 budget seeks $2.4 billion for Homeless Assistance Grants, an increase of $480 million above the 2012 enacted level. As budgetary battles continue to shape policy in Washington, Donovan urges lawmakers to approve the full funding so HUD and local providers can continue to move forward. "Over the last few years, we have changed the trajectory of homelessness in America, but we need bipartisan support from Congress to fully fund proven strategies that have created this downward trend," he said. "The evidence is clear that the cost of doing nothing far exceeds the cost of finding real housing solu- tions for those who might other- wise be living on our streets." Bofa, FHFa settle in securities suit The bank agrees To pay more Than $9 billion To close The case. north carolina // Bank of America (BofA) has agreed to a multibillion settlement with the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) to resolve allegations of securities fraud related to loans

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