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The department is committed to helping American families find a safe and decent living environment. HUD helps create homeownership opportunities, enforce fair housing laws, spur economic growth in distressed neighborhoods, and aid the homeless. HUD was the agency that recently set out the updated Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act regulations. The Office of Federal Housing Enterprise and Oversight, regulator of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, falls under HUD but is an independent entity. Credit unions are certain to see more of OFHEO as they become more deeply involved in the secondary mortgage market. As interest rates start to climb again, activity there will pick up to unload any low-rate mortgages credit unions may still have on the books. Credit union access to the secondary market also frees up more funds for more mortgages. The legislation that established OFHE also requires Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to meet affordable housing goals set annually by the HUD Secretary concerning the share of mortgages that the government sponsored enterprises are required to purchase from low-income, moderate-income and central-city homebuyers each year.

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