Federal Housing Enterprises:

HUD's Implementation of Its Mission Oversight Needs to Be Strengthened

T-GGD-98-177: Published: Jul 30, 1998. Publicly Released: Jul 30, 1998.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO discussed the Department of Housing and Urban Development's (HUD) housing mission oversight of the two largest government-sponsored housing enterprises: the Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae) and the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (Freddie Mac).

GAO noted that: (1) HUD adopted a generally conservative approach in 1995 to setting the final enterprise housing goals for 1996 through 1999 that placed a high priority on maintaining the enterprises' financial soundness; (2) Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were in compliance with the final housing goals in 1996 and 1997, according to data the enterprises submitted to HUD; (3) GAO also concluded that there are several weaknesses in HUD's mission oversight that need to be addressed; and (4) specifically: (a) HUD has not implemented a program to assess the accuracy of the enterprises' housing goal-compliance data; (b) HUD's research agenda does not address several issues necessary to fully understand the extent to which the housing goals promote housing opportunities; and (c) HUD has not yet fully implemented a process under its general regulatory and new mortgage program approval authorities to ensure that the enterprises' financial activities are consistent with their housing mission.

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