07.26.06

Schumer Calls On Fannie Mae And Freddie Mac To Develop Concrete Plan To Help Address Fort Drum Housing Issues

The Fort Drum Community Expected To Grow By Dramatically In Next Eight MonthsSenator: We Need To Make Sure Housing Is Available and Affordable For The Community, Soldiers And Their Families

U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer, in a meeting Friday, called on federally chartered housing entities, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, to develop a concrete plan to help address the Fort Drum housing issues. As a member of the Senate Banking and Housing Committee, Schumer is working to provide the federal resources and expertise necessary to make sure affordable housing in place for Ft. Drums new troops and the community at large. In January, Schumer attended the Fort Drum Housing Summit with local community and business leaders to address the impending influx of people into the community and its effects on housing, education, health care, and economic development.

I urge housing powerhouses, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, to step up to the plate for the Fort Drum area and find a way to help solve this housing challenge. The bottom line is that thousands of new residents are coming to this community, and they need affordable homes to live in. Through their service, these soldiers are already making an enormous sacrifice, and we owe them the right to live with their families. No doubt this will be a shot in the arm for the local economy, but in order to take advantage of this boom, we need to make sure housing is available, safe, and affordable.

Schumer asked that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac create affordable mortgage products for military consumers in the Fort Drum area. These products would include low down payment assistance, low interest loans, and credit waivers. Schumer also asked that they develop formal partnerships with area direct lenders including banks, credit unions and mortgage brokers. In addition, Schumer requested they commit resources to create a homeownership education and financial literacy program for Fort Drum soldiers, their families, and the community, since this will be the first huge purchase for many.

Fannie Mae provides financial products and services that make it possible for families to buy homes through expanding homeownership opportunities and joining with lenders and community partners to create products and technologies to reach underserved communities. Freddie Mac links homeowners and renters to the worlds capital markets, a unique mortgage credit system that helps to reduce the costs of housing finance, expands housing opportunities for families, initiates community development lending projects, and promotes consumer education to improve financial literacy.

As a result of personnel shifts, there is set to be a dramatic increase in soldiers and their families moving to the region by February, 2007. Bringing more people to the area would presumably lead to greater economic development, increased retail sales, and a larger tax base. Without adequate housing, though, families could be discouraged from relocating limiting the positive economic impact.



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