Mission Possible: How We’re Helping Families, Supporting the Recovery, and Improving Freddie Mac
Throughout the housing and economic crisis, families have been facing tough questions about the future. They’re working to pay the bills and feed the kids, while at the same time trying to save for tomorrow. Some are dealing with lost income, and in too many cases, lost homes. They’re wondering, “What more can we do today to prepare for tomorrow?”
At Freddie Mac, we’re asking ourselves a similar question. Since the housing downturn took hold and we were placed into federal conservatorship, we’ve assumed new responsibilities. At the same time, our longstanding mission of supporting the housing market has never mattered more to the nation. So we’re taking inventory of our mission-related activities and challenging ourselves to do even more to help families in this tough economic environment.
We’ve detailed Freddie Mac’s response to the housing and economic crisis on a new Web page titled Serving Our Mission, Supporting the Recovery that's now available on FreddieMac.com. But before sharing the highlights, I want to first describe what “mission” really means.
As defined by our charter, Freddie Mac’s mission for the past 40 years has been to provide liquidity, stability, and affordability to the U.S. housing market. We keep mortgage funds flowing, no matter the economic environment. We also help to create new opportunities for homeownership and affordable apartment housing – particularly for harder-to-reach borrowers and renters.
But viewed more broadly, “mission” goes deeper than that. In today’s housing climate, mission more than ever encompasses Freddie Mac’s work to help families save their homes from foreclosure. It includes meeting face to face with thousands of distressed borrowers at counseling workshops – real people facing tough times – and treating them with compassion and respect. It means managing delinquent loans and insisting on responsible lending practices that help prevent future delinquencies. And a growing part of our mission is to help the rental housing market and the millions of families who depend on it.
As detailed in Serving Our Mission, Supporting the Recovery, we’re making strides in meeting our expanded responsibilities – both in reaching out to would-be borrowers and renters seeking affordable homes, and in helping struggling homeowners to avoid foreclosure.
Freddie Mac's new senior executive team – which includes a new CEO, CFO, and COO – is improving the company to ensure we continue serving the markets and our mission.
As one of the only reliable sources of mortgage funding today, Freddie Mac has helped nearly 3 million homebuyers and 378,000 renters since the beginning of 2009.
We’re reinforcing a strong foundation of responsible lending practices to produce better-quality loans and more sustainable homeownership for America’s families.
We’re focused on managing delinquencies. Fewer than 4 percent of Freddie Mac’s loans are seriously delinquent; that’s one of the lowest delinquency rates in the industry, which is averaging about 9 percent.
Our efforts to provide rental housing financing are helping to increase apartment housing opportunities for families, senior citizens, college students, and others.
Last year, Freddie Mac made homeownership possible for 164,000 first-time homebuyers – and supplied affordable housing financing for more than 2 million low- and moderate-income families.
Through our foreclosure prevention activities, we’ve helped more than 350,000 borrowers keep their homes or avoid foreclosure since the beginning of 2009.
As the new Web page shows, this focus on reshaping and strengthening Freddie Mac is furthering our success in meeting the nation’s urgent housing needs.
I grew up in the Bronx in the 1960s and 70s, and our family of five shared a modest two-bedroom apartment. Certainly, we could have had it much worse, and many families did. But like many people of limited means, we dreamed of something better. It’s the same dream so many hard-working families and individuals share today.
That very dream motivates much of our work at Freddie Mac. And so we’re strengthening our company, finding innovative ways to serve our mission, and applying our expertise to support the housing recovery and help more families find affordable homes – and keep them.
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