Sen. Mark Warner on how a new housing agency would impact our region

Yesterday, we wrote about a new bill introduced by Sens. Mark Warner (D-Va.) and Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) that calls for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to be wound down and then replaced by a new agency called the Federal Mortgage Insurance Company. Since both of the current mortgage companies are located in our region, their closure would have local implications. We reached out to Sen. Warner to ask for his thoughts on what the bill could mean for our region, which is home to many of his constituents. He told us:

Obviously, there will be some impact on Fannie and Freddie employees in the capital region. Our legislation specifies a five-year wind-down of Fannie and Freddie, and there will be opportunities for existing GSE [government-sponsored enterprise] employees as we ramp-up an entirely new housing financing agency. And the entire reform proposal is designed to strengthen the home loan industry and provide more clarity, confidence and future opportunities for realtors, builders, home buyers and sellers.

At this point, it’s too early to say how a new agency might participate in local philanthropy. We’ll follow up on the subject as the bill progresses.

LOCAL | Five years ago, WRAG helped launch the Partnership for Prince George’s County. Over the next few months, we’re taking a look at progress the county has made since then. Toward that end, Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker wrote a guest post for the Daily about the county’s Transforming Neighborhoods Initiative (TNI) and the need for increased collaboration to ensure its success (Daily, 6/27):

We need partners with expertise and resources who will team up with us to improve the quality of life for the people in these neighborhoods. TNI is about collaboration and empowerment. That is why we are beginning to reach out to the business, faith-based, philanthropic, and nonprofit communities to join this important initiative.

– Kevin Maxwell, who currently serves as Anne Arundel County’s superintendent, seems to have been chosen to lead Prince George’s County schools. The Post is reporting the position decision, but the county hasn’t yet made anything official. Still, the county’s principals union rep, Dorris Reed, says that Maxwell is “an excellent choice.” (WaPo, 6/27) Thank goodness they didn’t choose Maxwell Edison.

– As Montgomery County’s demographics shift heavily, the school system is facing what Greater Greater Education calls “de facto segregation.” (GGE, 6/27) If you don’t know, that’s French for “of facto.”

Academic achievement gap is narrowing, new national data show (WaPo, 6/27)

HIV/AIDS | Today is National HIV Testing Day.  At least 18% of people who are infected with HIV don’t know that they have the virus. Huge advances in medicine and technology in recent years are helping HIV-positive patients live full and normal lives – but those advances can’t help people who don’t know about their condition. So help spread the word about getting tested.

WORKFORCE | The D.C. Council has passed an initial bill that would require big box stores to pay a “super minimum wage.” No, “super minimum” doesn’t mean really, really small. And no, it doesn’t mean that the minimum wage would have super powers. Unfortunately. (WaPo, 6/27)

NONPROFITS | Big Brothers Big Sisters serves more than 200,000 at-risk youth across the country. But its recent audit set off alarms and has led to the Justice Department freezing its federal funding. (CBS, 6/26)

PHILANTHROPY | Online giving to nonprofits of all sizes shot up 14% last year, according to new data. (Chronicle, 6/27)

HOUSING | A new report out of Harvard reiterates what we’ve been hearing for a while about rental prices. As Gawker astutely puts it, “[T]his is a terrible time to be poor and want to live indoors.” (Gawker, 6/27)

A few years ago, Bruce Springsteen took a break from the E Street Band to record an Americana album of Pete Seeger songs. The entire album is fantastic, but I really love his version of Shenandoah. It’s beautiful.

Rebekah has the Daily tomorrow, so I hope you all have a great weekend.