Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have been attacked by some real estate agents who say the firms' unwillingness to evict tenants from properties they inherit could slow the housing market's recovery.

Freddie Mac, bowing to pressure from affordable-housing advocates, said Friday it would let renters remain in homes lost to foreclosure. The mortgage-finance company will begin next month offering monthly leases to tenants, following the lead of Fannie Mae, which rolled out a similar policy earlier this month. Both companies said Friday they would halt tenant evictions in February.

The policies are an about-face from the two companies' previous practice when, like most lenders and mortgage companies, they routinely evicted tenants in homes that fell into foreclosure, even when residents were current on their rent.

Wall Street Journal