WASHINGTON — Fannie Mae formally announced Friday that it has formed the Homeownership Alliance, a group that a press release described as a ''broad-based public education organization to promote the American housing system.''

The move is viewed by some in the mortgage industry as a riposte to FM Watch, a coalition of big banks that has leveled criticism at the government-sponsored enterprises and seeks to prevent them from expanding into the primary mortgage market.

Fannie said the group, based in Alexandria, Va., will not lobby members of Congress, but will focus on public advocacy through its Web site, www.homeownershipalliance.com. However, it is being run by Rick Davis, the former presidential-campaign manager for Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz.

American Banker reported in July that Mr. Davis was working with Fannie to form a coalition to counter FM Watch.

The Homeownership Alliance’s other members are the American League of Financial Institutions, the Enterprise Foundation, Freddie Mac, the Independent Community Bankers Association, the Local Initiatives Support Corporation, the National Association of Home Builders, the National Association of Real Estate Brokers, the National Bankers Association, and the National Urban League.

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