Agreement Reached on Housing Bill

Washington, D.C.–Senate Banking Committee leaders announced Monday that they had reached a compromise on a heavily debated housing bill to prevent foreclosures and restructure how Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are monitored, said.  Under the plan, the Federal Housing Administration will be allowed to insure $300 billion in new loans for borrowers whose lenders write their loan balance down to less than the homes’ appraised value.Arranged by the Banking Committee’s leading Democrat and Republican–Chairman Christopher Dodd, D-Conn., and Ranking Member Richard Shelby, R-Ala.–the bill would create an affordable housing fund that would be used to provide funding for the FHA mortgage program in its first year.However, concern remains that the Bush administration–which said it would likely veto a similar bill Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., sponsored in early May–won’t pass the measure. Although the administration has not commented publicly on the new bill, Dodd said “there’s been some positive reaction out of the White House,” according to