Affordable housing policy and funding takes place across all levels of government, but the federal government is both the largest funder and sets the baseline for much of our housing policy. While Congress passes federal laws and budgets, it is the responsibility of the administrative agencies to write rules and regulations and to enforce those laws. Below is a set of explainer documents outlining the structure, jurisdiction, and policies, primarily related to rental housing, of many of the federal agencies that impact housing policy.
An independent agency established by Congress in the wake of the financial crisis, the FHFA has regulatory oversight over Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, 11 Federal Home Loan Banks
(“FHLBs”), and the Office of Finance.
The USDA is responsible for developing and executing laws and programs in “food, agriculture, natural resources, rural development, nutrition, and related issues.” It also has jurisdiction to enact a variety of farmworker rental and homeownership options.