This week, the Senate Banking Committee advanced conversations on reform of the country’s two government-sponsored enterprises, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, by welcoming NAR President-Elect Vince Malta and other housing industry leaders to testify.

Also on Wednesday, the White House announced that President Trump directed the U.S. Treasury Department to develop a white paper on ending conservatorship of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

NAR President John Smaby issued the following statement in response to Wednesday’s White House announcement:

“REALTORS® are encouraged to see conversations surrounding GSE reform intensifying in Washington, particularly with the White House today directing the U.S. Treasury to outline plans for how Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac can be removed from conservatorship. While NAR believes the GSEs must be transitioned out of conservatorship, this must be done in a responsible manner that will protect taxpayers and retain the Enterprises’ public mission, and these actions must be driven by Congress.

“This is the only way to secure an explicit government guarantee, a public mission, and the 30-year fixed rate mortgage, which are critical components of a robust U.S. housing market. That point will remain NAR’s primary focus as we continue GSE reform conversations with the Senate, House and the administration.”

With Senate Banking Committee Chairman Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) and Ranking Member Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) holding hearings on Tuesday and Wednesday to gather perspectives on potential reform in Congress, NAR Senior Vice President of Government Affairs Shannon McGahn issued the following statement in response to the broad consensus that appeared to emerge from the industry:

“This week’s hearings in the Senate Banking Committee showed multiple points of broad industry consensus on GSE reform. Specifically, many participants agreed that our housing finance system would benefit from a utility model that can serve the national market and promote stability in housing, particularly during times of economic distress.

“We were pleased to see those points addressed repeatedly by NAR President-Elect Vince Malta and other industry leaders, and we’re confident that these key principles will be the basis for reforms on Capitol Hill in the coming months.”

More on GSE reform.