Fannie Mae Spends $24 Million On New Office Space

Last week, Senator Chuck Grassley sent a letter to the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) asking them for a review of excessive spending by Fannie Mae on their latest office move. As an independent agency, FHFA, regulates government sponsored enterprises (GSEs) like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Fannie Mae has been in the process of relocating its office space in the Dallas, Texas area, however; a management report from the Office of the Inspector General has raised red flags about the lack of oversight of FHFA on this project. Grassley highlights the obscene costs of the relocation and the ability of Fannie Mae to effectively manage limited taxpayer resources as key problems that the FHFA should have weighed in on. Sadly, this is not the first timeFannie Mae has gone overboard, but rather a small example.

GSE’s have long contributed to instability in the housing market despite receiving government subsidies, exemptions from Dodd-Frank and taxpayer bailouts. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have also failed to produce the results they were designed to create–an increase in homeownership. Instead their actions fueled the housing bubble and eventually left put taxpayers on the hook for a $200 billion bailout.

Unfortunately, some politicians and even trade organizations, including the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), have failed to learn the lessons of the past and are calling for Fannie and Freddie to become privately owned utilities again with an explicit government guarantee of the mortgage-backed securities they sell!

It’s time for Congress to get GSEs out of the housing market all together. Pulling the government out of the housing market will do far more to ensure stability and allow private actors to re-enter the marketplace without risking taxpayer dollars.

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