The Obama administration is close to committing as much as $35 billion to help beleaguered state and local housing agencies continue to provide mortgages to low- and moderate-income families, according to administration officials.
The move would further cement the government's role in propping up the housing market even as some lawmakers push to curb spending at a time of rising debt.
The effort, which could be announced as early as this week, is aimed at relieving pressure on government-operated housing finance agencies, which have been struggling to find funding amid the downturn. These agencies, or HFAs, are a small part of the housing market but are critical to many first-time and low-income home buyers, who can get lower-rate mortgages through an HFA than they could through a private-sector lender. Rates are typically 0.5 to one percentage point lower than commercial lenders.
Wall Street Journal