The Federal Housing Administration is facing a bailout for the first time in its almost 80-year history, raising a host of fresh questions about the potential for standalone legislation to the reform the agency.

The FHA plans to take a $1.7 billion draw from the U.S. Treasury to shore up its books at the end of the fiscal year. The bulk of the agency's losses are from its reverse mortgages program, after the FHA burned through much of its cash reserves in the wake of the financial crisis when it expanded its reach to offer more loans to needy borrowers.

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