WASHINGTON -- The Federal National Mortgage Association says it will be "hard-pressed" to meet the low-income lending targets set for it by the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

In a December letter to HUD, as well as in public speeches, Fannie Mae had stressed its commitment to goals that were even a bit higher than those set by HUD, and had said it was confident in its ability to meet the targets.

Fannie's latest comments, in a letter sent Monday to HUD, appear to signal that the company will take a confrontational stance to match HUD's tough line on the lending targets and on monitoring the performance of Fannie and the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp.

Laying the Groundwork

The letter also lays Fannie's groundwork for future battles over higher targets that HUD has signaled it will set in 1995.

Congress directed Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac last year to ensure that 30% of the housing units financed by loans they purchase be for low-income and moderate-income people, and that 30% be in central cities.

HUD has directed Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to meet those goals in 1994. For 1993, the low-income and moderate-income goal for Fannie was 30%, and the central city-goal was 28%.

Each of those goals was two percentage points lower for Freddie.

In this letter, Fannie continued to protest the disparity between companies in these goals and in an affordable-housing goal that is also lower for Freddie.

The letter also urged HUD to relax some of the detailed data and reporting requirements for the company and its lenders.

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