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November 06, 2019

A Closer Look at Rural Housing

steve speaking

Freddie Mac recently hosted a symposium to shed light on the landscape and future of rural housing in the U.S. — and to share research, ideas and solutions to the challenges rural renters, homeowners and all of us in the industry face.

The event brought together researchers, economists, policymakers and practitioners, along with Freddie Mac CEO David Brickman and our Multifamily executives, to take a closer look at the underserved and often overlooked rural housing market. Participants engaged with representatives from the Federal Reserve Board, Enterprise Community Partners and the FDIC, among others, on topics such as:

  • Access to credit and ‘credit invisibles’, people who have no credit records
  • The drop in the number of rural Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) units
  • The shift from new construction to the acquisition and rehab of rural rental housing
  • The diminishing supply of USDA Section 515 rental housing, which researchers project to be nonexistent by 2050

The event aligns with our Duty to Serve focus on critical housing challenges in underserved markets. Last year, as part of these efforts, we made $500 million in LIHTC equity investments, with nearly 40% supporting rural communities. We continue to look for innovative ways to address the challenges faced by rural renters — 47% of whom are cost burdened.

Learn more about these rural housing issues in our research, podcast and resources on:

duty to serve

As the top funder of affordable housing in the U.S., we innovate to serve the needs of the market — and work to tackle the nation’s most persistent housing challenges. Through our Duty to Serve commitment with the Federal Housing Finance Agency, we focus on rural and manufactured housing and preserving more affordable housing for renters nationwide.

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