The House Financial Services Committee yesterday received testimony from Federal Housing Finance Agency Director Sandra Thompson. In a memo, CAI urged members of the committee to ask Thompson about ways to improve access to mortgage credit for condominium and cooperative homeowners and homebuyers residing in structurally safe buildings.

We pointed out the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac condominium and cooperative policy directive is disrupting access to mortgage credit for homeowners in safe buildings. In a survey of the condominium industry, 72% of respondents were impacted by the new guidelines, 45% reported mortgage closing delays, and 28% indicated the guidelines caused loan denials in condominium projects with no identifiable structural or financial integrity issues. Read the full memo.

We shared our work with other stakeholders, including the National Association of Realtors, Mortgage Bankers Association, and the Community Home Lenders of America who also requested FHFA suspend and revise the new guidelines.

CAI and other stakeholders have provided constructive feedback on policies to improve condominium and cooperative building safety and access to mortgage credit. After receiving stakeholder and customer feedback, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac proposed revisions to FHFA. Regrettably, FHFA has delayed the release of any revised guidelines.

We provided specific policy solutions.

Preserving the safety of condominium and cooperative housing is a key priority of CAI. We’ve submitted feedback on FHFA’s temporary guidelines, requesting the following revisions:

  • Elimination of forward-looking, speculative questions that condominium association boards and managers are unable to answer factually.
  • Elimination of questions that exceed the core competencies of condominium association boards and managers (e.g., questions that require board members or managers to render a legal opinion).
  • Targeting risk management activities to condominium projects most likely to benefit from scrutiny (e.g., condominium projects over 20 years old and located in areas at higher risk of salt-based corrosion).
  • Streamlining questionnaires implementing temporary guidance to effectively collect relevant information and reduce burdens on condominium association boards and managers.

We urged the House Financial Services Committee to ask specific questions of FHFA Director Thompson to better understand why changes haven’t been made and to determine if they are forthcoming.

CAI will continue to advocate for changes to the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac condo and housing cooperative lending guidelines to ensure capital in the condo marketplace.

  • Dawn Bauman, CAE

    Senior Vice President, Government & Public Affairs

    Executive Director, Foundation for Community Association Research

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  • C. Scott Canady

    Scott Canady's 13-year record of public service includes experience gained in the U.S. House of Representatives and in the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

    In Congress, Scott served as chief policy and political aide to a senior member of the House Financial Services Committee, working to reform the National Flood Insurance Program and improve the regulation of housing finance giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

    Following his time in Congress, Scott was appointed Deputy Assistant Secretary for Legislative Affairs at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Scott served as a key legislative liaison with members of the House Financial Services Committee and the Senate Banking Committee.

    In 2009, Scott began his partnership with Community Associations Institute by launching Tambala Strategy. Through this partnership, Scott has worked with CAI's members and leadership team to advance the views of common interest communities on a variety of issues including federal condominium standards, federal disaster assistance for community associations, and community association lien priority.

    Scott earned a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and History from Louisiana State University and a Master of Public Administration from the George Mason University Schar School of Policy and Government.

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