While the Biden Administration continues to contemplate a decision to forgive student loans, Sallie Mae’s cousin Fannie is extending a lifeline to Black borrowers. The Federal National Mortgage Association, otherwise known as FNMA or “Fannie Mae” recently released its Equitable Housing Finance Plan, which outlines specific actions it’s taking to knock down barriers faced by Black renters and homeowners throughout the housing journey.

In a press release shared with EBONY, Fannie Mae says its Equitable Housing Finance Plan is focused on empowering Black homeowners and renters in three areas. Housing Preparation will help Black consumers prepare early for sustainable homeownership and access to quality rental housing through establishing strong financial and credit foundations. For those Renting or Buying, the goal is to remove unnecessary obstacles facing Black people in shopping for, acquiring, renting or financing the purchase of a home. Moving in and Maintaining addresses improving the services that help sustain housing so that homeowners and renters can withstand disruptions or crises and remain stably housed.

"Our Equitable Housing Finance Plan lays the groundwork to meaningfully address housing barriers faced by Black renters and homeowners," said David C. Benson, President and Interim Chief Executive Officer of Fannie Mae. "We want to knock down these barriers, one by one, doing our part to undo the legacy of discriminatory practices that perpetuate racial housing gaps in America. The Plan is a solid step toward this goal and a milestone in our work to make housing stronger, fairer and more sustainable for the people and communities we serve."

The homeownership gap between Blacks and white Americans is larger today than it was 50 years ago. Some of that can be attributed to housing discrimination and unfair housing practices overall. Black Americans also find it difficult to secure loans from financial institutions, forcing many in the Black community to turn to Black-owned banks for support. Fannie Mae insists their newly released plan is just one important element of a much larger and evolving corporate strategy that underpins Fannie Mae’s mission to help make housing more equitable.