U.S. Watchdog FHFA Warns of Cost Overruns at Fannie Mae Headquarters

U.S. taxpayers may be paying too much for construction of the new headquarters of Fannie Mae, the housing finance company now in government hands, an independent government watchdog warned on Thursday.

The new Fannie Mae building in downtown Washington has seen its per-square-foot costs increase by more than 50 percent in about eighteen months, according to the watchdog’s report, which said the original cost estimate for the structure was $770 million.

Fannie Mae, a leading source of mortgage finance, has operated under government control since September 2008, so any costs overruns could be felt by taxpayers, the report concludes.

“We believe there are significant financial and reputational risks from the projected costs associated with Fannie Mae’s relocation of its headquarters,” reads the report from the independent auditor of the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA).

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