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Letter to President Obama - Calls on the Administration to Invest in the American Dream

Location: Washington, DC

Congressman Chaka Fattah (D-PA), called on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to increase their commitment to the Housing Trust Fund -- creating a pathway for Americans for homeownership.

Today, both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac disclosed that they have a potential surplus of federal funds as a result of both the booming house market and the fees associated with their home loan guarantees. The surplus is an estimated $89 billion, well beyond their 2012 profits of $17.2 billion and $11 billion for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac respectively.

Based on these initial profits, Congressman Fattah urged the Administration, through a letter, to direct the agencies to transfer some of those dollars to the Housing Trust Fund. The Housing Trust Fund is an entity created to provide affordable loan packages for middle class families. Created during the Bush Administration and supported by the Obama Administration, the Housing Trust Fund, despite its important mission, is unfunded and has been since its creation.

"The boom in the housing market is good news for American families," Fattah said. "This is why it's critical to call the Administration to direct Fannie and Freddie to invest in working families and the American Dream by directing some of this surplus to the Housing Trust Fund."

The full text of Congressman Fattah's letter follows.

May 3, 2013

President Barack Obama
The White House
West Wing
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20502

President Obama,

For millions of Americans, life is a daily struggle that often forces them to choice between rent, heat, and food. In 2011, many of these individuals found themselves homeless because they were unable to find affordable low cost housing. Unfortunately, the country continues to find itself with a dearth of this type of housing. Developers, builders, and housing providers say they cannot build low cost housing cheaply enough to satisfy the debt service on these units.

Established as part of the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008, the Housing Trust Fund (HTF) provides grants to states to increase the supply of affordable rental housing. The original intention of the Economic Recovery Act was to fund the HTF through Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac profits. However, the economic recession left Fannie and Freddie unable to adequately fund the HTF. Recently, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac both reported net profits for 2012; Fannie Mae $17.2 billion and Freddie Mac $11 billion.

Because of these new profits, I call on the Obama Administration to fully fund the HTF. Once funded, the HTF can finally be used to preserve, build, and rehabilitate affordable rental homes in communities across the nation. Moreover, because the authorizing statute provides for a dedicated source of funding for the trust fund through annual GSE's assessments, the HTF will not be caught in partisan bickering.

Thank for your attention in this matter.

Very truly yours,

Chaka Fattah
Member of Congress

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