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Duty to Serve: Taking a Leadership Role in Solving America's Most Persistent Housing Problems

May 8, 2017

Today, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) published Freddie Mac's draft Duty to Serve Underserved Markets plan, which outlines how we intend to strengthen our efforts to help more very low-, low- and moderate-income families with their housing needs. This includes those in three specific, historically underserved housing markets: manufactured housing, rural housing and affordable housing preservation. 

Freddie Mac encourages all of our customers and housing partners to share your comments with FHFA on their Duty to Serve web page.

"We are proud to take a leadership role in overcoming the challenges facing low- and moderate-income families," said Dave Lowman, Executive Vice President, Single-Family Business. "We'll seek experienced partners and develop innovative solutions to help solve some of the most persistent housing problems."

The Duty to Serve final rule builds upon what are already the most comprehensive affordable housing requirements in the financial services industry and is an extension of Freddie Mac's continued efforts to reach more underserved markets across the country. These efforts include our work to meet our affordable housing goals and support our community mission.

Duty to Serve Plan – Highlights

Freddie Mac's draft plan outlines our single-family activities and objectives which are focused on:

  • Manufactured housing – manufactured housing titled as real property and as chattel.
  • Rural housing – high-needs rural regions and rural populations, and support financing by small financial institutions of rural housing.
  • Affordable housing preservation – energy or water efficiency improvements, and support of financing of single-family properties purchased under shared equity programs.

To meet these objectives, our multi-pronged plan includes increased loan purchases in these markets, community and local outreach activities, homebuyer education, industry technical expertise, new offerings and market research. We believe collaboration will be an important element to success and we intend to leverage partnerships with our customers as well as public, private and governmental entities that are experts in specific areas.

Our final plan will incorporate input from the public and FHFA. In addition, it will consider compliance with our charter, safety and soundness considerations and market and economic conditions.

"Freddie Mac strongly believes that a home in a suitable living environment is a vital component of a strong, healthy and sustainable community," said Danny Gardner, Vice President for Single-Family Affordable Lending and Access to Credit. "We view Duty to Serve as a continuation of our community mission – especially now, as housing prices continue to rise, homebuyer demographics change and the supply of affordable housing continues to fall well short of what’s needed for the many lower- and moderate-income families across the country."

Resources

  • Comment on Freddie Mac's Duty to Serve proposed plan on the FHFA web page.
  • Visit Freddie Mac's Duty to Serve web page for more details on our existing activities to help homebuyers.
  • Read the FHFA and Freddie Mac press releases.

Duty to Serve

The Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 established for Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae a duty to increase liquidity and improve the distribution of capital available for mortgage financing in three specific underserved markets:

  • Manufactured housing.
  • Rural housing.
  • Affordable housing preservation.