WASHINGTON D.C. - The Trump administration plans to change how Americans take out loans to buy their homes. But housing advocates worry some of the proposals could raise mortgage rates and make it harder for some people to obtain a mortgage, particularly those in low-income, rural areas.
The members of the administration made their case to lawmakers on Tuesday morning.
"Far too many Americans today lack which each of us deserves: an affordable place to call home," said Federal Housing Finance Agency Director Mark Calabria.
The Trump administration wants to re-make the housing market. Three top officials outlined the plan which they say would create a smaller role for the government while still protecting options for consumers like a 30-year mortgage and affordable housing.
"To address the challenges facing underserved borrowers and renters nationwide," said U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.
But housing advocates warn that some proposals could raise mortgage rates and make them harder to get. And members from both parties on the House committee aren't sold.
"I'm not confident that the administrative changes you want to make here are fair," said U.S. Rep. Juan Vargas/(D) California
"I'm always very suspicious of reform ideas," said U.S. Rep. French Hill/(R) Arkansas.
All of this revolves around the administration's plan to re-privatize Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac which have been under government control since the housing crisis 11 years ago.
Lawmakers noted during the crisis the housing giants, not the homeowners, received the more than $100 billion in taxpayer dollars.
"My number one objective is to see that we never ever have to bail Fannie and Freddie out again," said Federal Housing Finance Agency Director Mark Calabria.
Calabria now leads the agency that regulates Fannie and Freddie. Even if members of Congress remain skeptical, he can start the process of releasing Fannie and Freddie from government control without them.
Bloomberg reports the Federal Reserve is leaving questions about an interest cut on the table. If the fed does cut rates, it would be the third straight reduction, something that hasn't been seen since 1998.