Fannie Mae ( FNM) and Freddie Mac ( FRE) may take on an additional role in the housing market by providing money to cash-strapped mortgage banks, according to a news report.

The Federal Housing Finance Agency, which oversees the two mortgage giants, is considering ways to help the market for "warehouse loans" that are made to smaller mortgage banks, The Wall Street Journal reported Monday.

While historically low interest rates have created a surge in demand for new mortgage loans, large banks like Bank of America ( BAC), Wells Fargo ( WFC) and JPMorgan Chase ( JPM) have stood to benefit because they do not need the warehouse loans to issue new consumer debt.

By contrast, mortgage banks are usually small companies that don't take deposits and rely on warehouse loans to issue new mortgages. They then resell those bundled loans to investors and the large banks that issue warehouse debt. However, as the credit markets froze up, mortgage banks have been hard-pressed to find funding for their business.

The government views the issue as a priority because consumers may receive less competitive mortgage rates in a market dominated by a few major players.

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