2014-01-24T191527Z_1_CBREA0N1HIS00_RTROPTP_2_USA-HOUSING

Senators urge Fannie, Freddie to aid lower-income households

Fannie Mae headquarters building is seen in WashingtonBy Margaret Chadbourn WASHINGTON (Reuters) – More than 30 Democrats in the U.S. Senate called on Friday for the regulator of government-controlled Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to direct the companies to resume contributions for affordable housing initiatives. The senators focused on two unused funds that Congress established in 2008 to finance low-income housing with a portion of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s revenue. The Federal Housing Finance Agency, the companies’ regulator, suspended payments into the funds in November of that year, after the government seized the companies as mortgage losses mounted. The 33 lawmakers, led by Democrats Jack Reed of Rhode Island and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and independent Bernie Sanders of Vermont, want the agency to resume contributing to the fund to help ameliorate a shortage of affordable housing for low-income Americans.

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