Dense fog

Sonoma County officials seek halt to retrofit crackdown

Sonoma County officials Thursday filed a court motion seeking an immediate halt to a federal agency's crackdown on local energy retrofit programs.

Lending and sales transactions for homes participating in such programs have been tightened since the Federal Housing Finance Administration said the programs presented a risk to mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

The county, which established one of the first retrofit programs -- known as Property Assessed Clean Energy, or PACE -- sued the federal government in July over the crackdown.

Thursday's request for a preliminary injunction would, if granted, halt efforts by Fannie and Freddie to reduce or restrict lending and sales activity with homes participating in the program, according to the county.

Applications to the county's program dropped dramatically in the six weeks following the federal agency's July 6 announcement of new rules for lending associated with PACE programs.

The county requested a Nov. 18 hearing for a ruling on the preliminary injunction request.

— Brett Wilkison

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