Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco

Community Development

Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing in REO-to-Rental Programs

Author(s):

February 2014

Community Development Investment Review

The REO-to-Rental program is particularly intriguing from a fair housing perspective. In January 2012, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) launched its REO-to-Rental program, which converts pools of foreclosed REO properties held by the government-sponsored enterprises into affordable rental properties. Fair housing advocates viewed this program as a new opportunity for affordable rental properties in less-segregated, low-poverty communities—that is, until they discovered that the FHFA and the Department of the Treasury had made no effort to conform the new program to the requirements of the federal Fair Housing Act. This article discusses how the federal agencies responsible for the REO-to-Rental program can take advantage of this opportunity in the future, even if it has so far eluded them.

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