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Workforce Housing

Freddie Mac Multifamily is committed to promoting rental housing affordability. This comes through in our support for workforce housing.

You’ll find workforce housing everywhere – especially in urban areas and other employment centers. Some of the main characteristics:

  • Privately-owned and -operated properties
    • With limited amenities
    • That are affordable to renters with lower incomes (for example, firefighters, teachers, service and hourly wage workers, young families …)
  • Any property type, but most often garden style
  • Typically at least 15 years old

Why Is It Important?

Around half of all renters are cost-burdened, meaning that they spend more than 30 percent of their income on housing. The burden is much heavier for many lower-income households. And when more of their income must go toward housing, they have less to spend on other necessities – like food, clothing, and health care – let alone to save or to spend elsewhere

So, while we’ve always supported affordability, housing for this part of the population has become more of a focus for us. And the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), our conservator, agrees. Much of our funding for workforce housing is excluded from the purchase-volume cap that FHFA sets for us each year. We’re proud to support renters nationwide, and to help improve their quality of life.

How Does Freddie Mac Multifamily Support It?

We help property owners/developers buy, refinance, and preserve multifamily rental properties. To do this, we work with approved lenders to fund loans ranging from $1 million to $100s of millions for properties of all types and sizes – from five to hundreds of units, one building to many.

Within the last few years, we’ve expanded our support for workforce housing to include funding small balance loans ($1 million to $6 million; up to $7.5 million in high-cost areas) on small properties (five to 50 units) and on manufactured housing communities (MHCs). With Freddie Mac Multifamily’s involvement, we’ve brought more funding, consistency, and stability to this important market segment.

On average, between our support for workforce housing and government-assisted housing, over 80 percent of the apartment units that we fund each year are affordable to renters earning local area median income or less.