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Targeted Equity Investments are Legal and Essential to Reach Many Underserved Markets


In the statute establishing Duty to Serve (“DTS”) in 2009, Congress identified “grants and investments” as one of four explicit criteria that the Federal Housing Finance Agency must use in evaluating Enterprise DTS performance, along with outreach, loan product development, and loan purchases. By including investments as one of four statutory DTS evaluation factors, Congress has clearly affirmed that the Enterprises have the authority to make targeted DTS equity investments (12 U.S.C. § 4565(d)(2)(D) 2020). Nevertheless, our understanding is that under the current reading of the statute by FHFA’s general counsel, the Enterprises are prohibited from making targeted equity investments (TEIs). We believe FHFA has the authority to also permit TEIs as part of an Equitable Housing Finance Plan.