WASHINGTON -- The Department of Housing and Urban Development has stuck to its guns in setting affordable-housing targets for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
On Wednesday, HUD published in the Federal Register essentially the same rules it had sent to the government-sponsored companies in July.
And HUD signaled it would push the targets higher in coming years.
A housing activist, Stephanie Smith of Local Inititatives Support Corp, will be appointed to monitor Fannie and Freddie's performance, an administration source said. The appointment has not been announced yet.
Changes Were Sought
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac had asked for several changes that would have made it easier to meet the goals set by HUD. But the agency made few concessions.
"I think HUD maybe gave them 20%. They didn't get 80%" of the changes they asked for, said one congressional source.
Higher Targets in 1995
At a press briefing, Nicholas Retsinas, assistant secretary of housing and federal housing commissioner, signaled the agency would set even higher goals in 1995.
"We think these are appropriate goals; appropriate, both in terms of needs and what's doable," Mr. Retsinas said. "We would like to work with [Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac] to see if they can in fact exceed these goals."
Mr. Retsinas also said the department's affordable-housing coordinator would be in place by Nov. 1.
Goal for Central Cities
Fannie Mae must make sure that 30% of the housing units it finances this year are bought or rented by lower-income and moderate income-people. And 28% of the units financed must lie in central cities.
Freddie Mac has a low-income and moderate-income goal of 28% for this year, and its central-city goal is 26%. In 1994, HUD requires both agencies to meet the 30% mark in both categories.
A third, more targeted "special affordable housing goal" is also set at different levels for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
Fannie Mae declined to comment on the specifics of the regulation.
"We have no complaints," said spokesman David Jeffers. "We're moving forward."
In its announcement, HUD was critical of Freddie Mac's absence from the multifamily housing market. It warned that Freddie Mac would not be able to meet its 1994 goals unless it fully re-entered that market.
Freddie Mac's deputy chief economist, Frank Nothaft, said HUD's estimates of business in the multifamily market were based on old data and "on the high side."
Still, the company is "committed to meeting these goals," said Mitchell Delk, vice president of government and industry relations.
Officials at the Mortgage Bankers Association echoed HUD's criticism.
Freddie has been reluctant to try new products," said Robert M. O'Toole, the senior staff vice president. "You can't throw out a goal and expect lenders to reach that market."