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US Government Mortgage Programs: Balancing Risk and Mission

The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) and the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) have played an increasingly critical role in the housing market since the financial crisis. These agencies back 21 percent of loan originations, up from less than 5 percent before the crisis; they provide most of the financing to first-time homebuyers, less affluent homebuyers, and homebuyers of color. Ginnie Mae, the securitization vehicle for FHA and VA mortgages, now has more than $1.5 trillion in mortgage-backed securities outstanding, and is constantly balancing the interests of its issuers and its investors, many of which are overseas.

Our panelists addressed questions including: How the programs differ in missions and how they accomplish them, operating under congressional constraints with private market counterparts?  Do differing FHA and VA policies contribute to or detract from recent volume levels or loan performance? How the agencies address credit overlays? Where are the future first-time homebuyers, and how do each of the programs attempt to reach new consumers?  What is the appropriate mix of government, GSE, and private programs? How should government programs look at the tradeoff between risk, profitability, and mission? 



  • Stuart Quinn, policy research and strategy analyst, CoreLogic


  • Michael Frueh, director, VA Home Loan Program, US Department of Veterans Affairs
  • John Getchis, senior vice president, Office of Capital Markets, Ginnie Mae
  • Ed Golding, principal deputy assistant secretary, Federal Housing Administration
  • Laurie Goodman, director, Housing Finance Policy Center, Urban Institute
event resources

About Sunset Seminars

This seminar is the sixth in a series sponsored by CoreLogic and the Urban Institute, focusing on public policy issues relevant to the mortgage market. These seminars aim to bring together policymakers, practitioners, and analysts for lively conversations on topics of current interest.

Please note that this event was open to press. Send questions or inquiries to Alison Rincon,

Date & Time Tuesday, July 14, 2015
Urban Institute 2100 M Street NW
Washington , DC , 20037
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  • Institute Fellow