Lake County Record Bee: Thompson pushes housing agency to pick up PACE

Sep 7, 2016
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U.S. Rep. Mike Thompson (CA-05) today sent a letter to Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) Director Mel Watt to ask that the FHFA issue policy guidance that allows Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to fully participate in Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) programs nationwide.

“After years of working to allow more homeowners to be able to take advantage of this innovative financing tool when making energy-efficient retrofits to their homes, we’ve finally begun to see progress by the Administration in the past year,” Thompson said. “Now that the FHA has issued policy guidance to allow homeowners with FHA-insured properties to participate in PACE programs, it’s time for the FHFA to follow suit and issue guidance without further delay.”

After the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) issued a ruling in 2010 that essentially prohibited federal financing of PACE programs, Thompson introduced legislation, known as the PACE Assessment Protection Act, in three consecutive Congresses to overturn the FHFA’s ruling. He has been deeply involved in the bipartisan effort to encourage the Administration to find a solution that will allow more homeowners to participate in PACE programs.

In August 2015, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced that it intended to allow FHA-financed properties to use the PACE program if it met certain conditions. In July, the Obama Administration made good on that promise, allowing homeowners with FHA-insured mortgages to participate in PACE programs in order to install energy efficient retrofits to their homes.

The letter sent to Director Watt today asks that the FHFA follow suit and allow Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to fully participate in PACE programs across the country.