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May 08, 2017

Mission Critical: Our Plan to Strengthen Underserved Markets

David Leopold
Article By
David Leopold, VP Targeted Affordable Sales & Investments*

A critical part of our mission is to serve families across the nation who are struggling to find decent, affordable housing. About 90 percent of the millions of apartment homes we finance are affordable to people whose incomes are at or below the area median income. Earlier this year, I highlighted some of the ways we work to help these families and to reach every corner of the market—through affordable housing preservation offerings, manufactured housing community loans, rural housing financing and new innovative products.

Today the Federal Housing Finance Agency published our Duty to Serve Underserved Markets plan which outlines how we aim to enhance these efforts. The public has 60 days to provide comments to be considered for incorporation into our final plan. (Learn more on FHFA's website.)

In Multifamily, we will continue to facilitate the financing of rental housing for very low-, low- and moderate-income families. In our plan you’ll see we are focusing on some of the most difficult to serve areas where over time—through creativity and innovation—we believe we can provide more liquidity, stability and affordability. We plan to leverage public, private and government partnerships to help meet our goals.

New, Innovative Offerings

We’ll continue to develop new affordable housing preservation offerings to channel private capital to the communities that need it most… And to strengthen our connection with vital federal programs, such as Low Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTCs), the Section 8 program, Rental Assistance Demonstration (see one of our recent deals in San Francisco and New York City) and Section 515 loans from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Over the three-year plan period, in manufactured and rural housing, we’ll work directly with lenders, nonprofits, housing finance agencies and small financial institutions to develop ways to better serve the market through efforts such as re-engaging the LIHTC equity market. For example, we plan to develop a product that leverages LIHTC equity investment to meet the affordable rental needs of low-income families that are part of Indian tribes in Indian areas as well as agricultural workers in designated rural areas.

It’s a complex challenge that requires ingenuity and innovation.  We’re excited to take a leadership role in meeting this challenge and making rental homes available and affordable all across America.

How We Serve

  • About 90 percent of the apartments we finance are affordable to people whose incomes are at or below the area median income
  • Record loan volumes and new products help house low-income families: We now fund more than twice as many Targeted Affordable Housing mortgages as we did in 2014
  • Top supporter of rural housing through manufactured housing communities (MHC): $2.1 billion in funding since we began MHC program in 2014
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