The Obama administration called for more congressional support Thursday of three key housing initiatives.
Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner and Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan urged Congress to extend though 2010 the higher limit on loans that Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the Federal Housing Administration can buy or guarantee. They also supported extension of the first-time homebuyer tax credit and financing for the affordable-housing trust fund.
Congress raised the loan limit to just under $730,000, from $625,000, in the economic stimulus bill enacted this year but set a Dec. 31 expiration for the increase.
The administration also sought extension "for a limited period" of the $8,000 tax credit for first-time homebuyers that is scheduled to expire Nov. 30.
Separately, Senate Banking Committee Chairman Chris Dodd announced an agreement on a legislative provision to extend the tax credit to April 30.
The trust fund, established in 2008 legislation that reformed the government-sponsored enterprises, was envisioned as a way to store Fannie and Freddie profits that could be used on affordable-housing projects.
But with the government now holding the struggling GSEs in conservatorship, the trust fund has lacked financing.