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Homeownership has been U.S. public policy since the Franklin Roosevelt Administration. The GSEs were chartered as a matter of public policy, to ensure that a constant source of affordable credit would be available to all geographic regions of the U.S. so that people everywhere could become homeowners. It’s worked. Homeownership rates are high – almost 70% of households own homes. Access to credit is readily available; homeowners enjoy abundant financing options through a host of lending institutions, including credit unions. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are key players in that success. It is hard to imagine that our lawmakers intended to turn all housing finance decisions over to an oligopoly of large banks. It wasn’t their intent then, and should not be their intent now. Legislation that tightens oversight and strengthens financial controls will make our system stronger than it is today. Legislation that stifles innovation and hands control of housing finance to an oligopoly will do nothing but drive the cost of homeownership higher and out of reach of many potential buyers. Fewer homeowners means a weaker U.S. economy.

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