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Perspectives Blog

Delivering on our Affordable Housing Mission under Duty to Serve

January 14, 2019

Supply and demand regulate nearly every aspect of our economic lives.

Our affordable housing mission is at the heart of our business, with outcomes that include safe, sustainable housing for people of modest means, opportunities for our business partners, and stronger communities.

That's why I'm proud of our 2018 achievements under Fannie Mae's Duty to Serve Plan—a three-year roadmap that lays out how we'll study, engage, and innovate to find new affordable housing solutions in some of the most challenging underserved markets across America.

As our first year on this journey, 2018 was a year of learning and relationship-building, of seeking transformative solutions, and of demonstrating a commitment to action. Our team fanned out across the country to support home finance in rural markets, preserve affordable housing nationwide, and advance manufactured housing options. We attended dozens of conferences, conducted hundreds of customer and partner conversations, introduced new and enhanced products, and gained insights that we can use to keep getting better.

Here's a snapshot of our year, by the numbers:

2018 Duty to Serve Accomplishments - Fannie Mae

Estimated based on preliminary data as of December 31, 2018. Actual/final loan purchase numbers are pending.
Includes both Single Family-only and Single Family/Multifamily combined engagements.
Estimated based on preliminary data as of December 31, 2018. Actual/final number of units financed are pending.
Includes both Multifamily-only and Multifamily/Single-Family combined engagements.

However, the actions behind these numbers and the people we're helping are even more important:

  • In the rural housing market, we're making agreements with Native American tribes to allow conventional financing on their lands. We made it easier for rural buyers to get a home appraisal, and we're offering appraisal waivers in certain cases. We conducted research to shape a marketing campaign that we tested with success in rural regions. Other research revealed opportunities in rural areas for our Multifamily team where its role and potential actions were previously less clear. And we're leveraging Low Income Housing Tax Credits to deliver multifamily rental housing investments to the areas that need them most.
  • For the affordable housing preservation market, we made our HomeStyle® Energy and HomeStyle® Renovation single-family mortgage products more flexible, added energy efficiency resources to our consumer website (, and raised awareness of financing options for distressed properties. In multifamily housing, we're leveraging HUD's Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) program to provide much-needed capital for public housing renovations, and we're deepening our relationships with public housing authorities to better understand their financing needs beyond RAD.
  • And in the manufactured housing market, we launched MH Advantage, an innovative new mortgage option that offers more affordable financing for factory-built homes that are similar to site-built homes. In our Multifamily business, we're focused on Manufactured Housing Communities (MHCs, in which residents lease lots for their manufactured homes) by testing Resident-Owned Community models that offer tenants more control over monthly lot costs and greater security against evictions. We're looking at other ways to incent lease protections for MHCs, and to encourage community ownership by nonprofits and other nontraditional entities.

When the Duty to Serve rule was tasked to us by the Federal Housing Finance Agency two years ago, we understood the enormity of the mission. We also knew that we were well-positioned to deliver: The intersection of affordable housing and underserved markets is our sweet spot.

A year into implementing our Plan, I can confidently say we're all-in and making great strides owing to the passion and commitment that so many of us feel toward our affordable housing mission.

Learn more at

Jeffery Hayward
EVP, Multifamily Mortgage Business

January 14, 2019