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By Pete Schroeder and Steve Holland
WASHINGTON, March 27 (Reuters) – President Donald Trump is expected to sign a memorandum on federal housing finance reform on Wednesday, according to a White House official.
In January, the White House said it was preparing a framework for an overhaul that “fully addresses the risks to taxpayers presented by the current housing finance system.”
The memorandum could add momentum to the administration’s efforts to overhaul mortgage guarantors Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which it has identified as a top priority. The two government-sponsored enterprises have remained under a government conservatorship since 2008, when the two faced collapse during the subprime mortgage crisis.
Congress and government officials have struggled for years to move on from that federal takeover, in which the two enterprises pass profits to the Treasury Department in exchange for an explicit government backstop. Between the two, they back more than half of the nation’s mortgages.
Lawmakers have failed to come up with a fix to their outsized presence in the U.S. housing market, despite multiple efforts in last decade. On the day Trump is expected to sign the memorandum, the Senate Banking Committee is holding a hearing on housing finance, soliciting input from experts on a potential path forward. (Reporting by Pete Schroeder and Steve Holland Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Phil Berlowitz)