October 4, 2018
Freddie Mac Partners with Enterprise to Reenter the Housing Credit Market
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- Freddie Mac announced today that it has reentered the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (Housing Credit) market with a new fund with Enterprise Community Investment. The fund will focus on areas and transactions that have been underserved over the past decade, such as rural communities, properties financed with 4 percent Housing Credits, and developments that provide intensive supportive services to their residents. The fund, which will invest as much as $100 million, has already closed its first transaction: Wintergreen West, which will provide 40 apartment homes for residents of Summit County, Colorado, a rural area 75 miles west of Denver. Freddie Mac was a large part of the Housing Credit equity market prior to conservatorship in 2008. Freddie Mac has reentered the market in partnership with Enterprise because of our expertise with the Housing Credit, the nation’s most productive tool for creating and preserving affordable rental housing.
- The Seattle City Council has passed a resolution that requires city departments to prioritize affordable housing development in surplus public land disposition. Prior to the passage of this resolution, city departments sold surplus land to the highest bidder or to other departments, with the profits from these sales typically retained within the seller’s budget. This newly passed resolution affirms Seattle’s participation in a recent state law that authorizes all agencies to sell their surplus land at a discounted price to support affordable housing development. Enterprise’s James Madden, senior program director, notes that building affordable housing on publicly owned property in central neighborhoods creates an important opportunity to establish integrated neighborhoods with affordable housing and numerous services. (Crosscut, October 3) Enterprise has just released its Home & Hope Site Mapping Tool, which allows users to filter tax-exempt land within King County's urban growth area to identify potential sites for affordable housing and early learning centers.
- Yesterday HUD Secretary Ben Carson and U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Secretary Robert Wilkie announced $35 million in grants to combat veteran homelessness. This funding, which will be awarded through the HUD-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) program, is expected to help 212 public housing agencies provide a permanent home for more than 4,000 homeless veterans. The HUD-VASH program combines rental assistance vouchers from HUD with case management and clinical services provided by the VA. Carson and Wilkie also announced an additional $7.4 million through the Veterans Housing Rehabilitation and Modification Pilot Program to help disabled veterans modify or rehabilitate their homes to make them more accessible. (HUD, October 3)
- An article in the San Francisco Chronicle highlights two California ballot measures that would raise a record-breaking $6 billion for affordable housing. Proposition 1 would create a $4 billion bond for loans, construction and preservation of rental housing for families as well as loans that would help veterans purchase homes and farms. The second ballot measure, Proposition 2, would divert $2 billion from the state’s Mental Health Services Act toward creating supportive housing for individuals with severe mental illness who are homeless or at risk of homeless. (The San Francisco Chronicle, October 3)
In Case You Missed It
- The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) has announced that it is seeking public input on proposed modifications to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac's (the Government Sponsored Enterprises or GSEs) 2018-2020 Underserved Markets Plans under the Duty to Serve program. Those three-year plans detail the specific objectives and activities the GSEs plan to implement to serve three specified underserved markets: manufactured housing, affordable housing preservation, and rural housing. FHFA has determined that public input would be helpful in considering four of Fannie Mae's twenty-two proposed modifications, since each would make a substantial change to the content of its Duty to Serve plan. Freddie Mac has submitted one modification that FHFA considers to be a modest correction and, as a result, the agency is not seeking public input on this proposal. Public input on the proposed modifications is due by Friday, November 2, 2018.