Opening Doors to Affordable Housing Finance

FM Commentary

Opening Doors to Affordable Housing Finance

Jennifer WhipFannie Mae’s partnership with state housing finance agencies (HFAs) demonstrates how our cooperative efforts continue to open doors in the affordable housing market, despite the difficult challenges that have arisen in housing finance over the past several years.

“Fannie Mae has teamed effectively with state HFAs to provide them access to lower cost capital and other benefits, which, in turn, has helped HFAs further their mission of creating sustainable homeownership opportunities for low- and moderate-income families,” said Barbara Thompson, executive director of the National Council of State Housing Agencies. She noted that our alliance with the HFAs also has given states the ability to participate in the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP), which brings homeowners significant savings on their monthly mortgage payments.

Brian Hudson, executive director and CEO of the Pennsylvania HFA, said the program “has better positioned us in the market and as such has helped us in our mission of providing affordable loans. The feedback from our lender network, Realtors®, housing counselors, and consumers has been overwhelmingly positive.”

Working with the U.S. Treasury, Fannie Mae also has played a key role in relieving temporary financial strains on the HFAs, supporting tens of thousands of new mortgages to first-time homebuyers, and supporting the development of thousands of new rental units. These are encouraging results because they are moving housing in the right direction where it can add strength to the nation’s economy and restore our communities.

A page in the 2012 Annual Report of the Massachusetts Housing Finance Agency (MassHousing) – our largest state HFA partner – tells a similar story of success. By working together, we have helped thousands of qualified borrowers in the state obtain affordable home loans. Tom Gleason, executive director of MassHousing and a former member of our Affordable Housing Advisory Council (AHAC), observed that Fannie Mae is “not only changing lives but also speeding the recovery of the housing market in Massachusetts.”

Over the years, HFAs have played a vital role in supporting state and local housing markets by providing affordable home purchase and rental opportunities. Realizing their importance, we have cultivated a long-standing relationship with HFAs and have worked in partnership with them to demonstrate our shared commitment to make homeownership affordable and sustainable for working families. HFAs have shown that it is possible to lend responsibly to families with modest incomes, and we are pleased to be partners in making that happen.

The HFAs have a history of helping millions of families to establish a foothold in the housing market. They have accomplished this by adhering to a prudent path that educates consumers on the responsibilities of homeownership; provides borrowers with sound mortgages at low, fixed rates and on affordable terms; and follows up with effective servicing. With these sound approaches to mortgage lending, it is no surprise that HFAs have historically experienced strong loan performance.

Fannie Mae is working steadily to restore the current marketplace and build a new housing finance system to serve future generations of Americans – a commitment that extends to affordable housing through our partnerships with HFAs.

Jennifer Whip
Vice President for Customer Management

May 13, 2013

The views expressed in these articles reflect the personal views of the authors, and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of any other person, including Fannie Mae or its Conservator. Any figures or estimates included in an article are solely the responsibility of the author.May 13, 2013

Want to comment on this topic?

Send an email

Your contribution is subject to our Privacy Statement and Legal Disclosure.