Fannie Mae, the nation’s largest source of financing for home mortgages, joined its partners including the National Association of Home Builders on Thursday to launch a major “workforce housing” initiative that aims to help revitalize 1,000 communities across America by expanding the stock of affordable housing for working families.

A key goal is to ensure that teachers, police officers, firefighters and other public servants can afford to own or rent in the communities that depend on them. Thursday’s announcement, which is part of Fannie Mae’s expanded American Dream Commitment plan, also includes a major initiative to help increase the availability of permanent supportive housing for people who are chronically homeless. In addition to the NAHB, Fannie Mae will work with mortgage lenders, mortgage insurers, nonprofit organizations, housing finance agencies, local government and many other partners, aiming to expand the supply of affordable housing across America.

Fannie and the NAHB will launch a Metropolitan-Area Workforce Housing Initiative in an agreed upon region that will serve as a laboratory in which the two organizations will work together to address workforce housing issues.

Fannie and the NAHB plan to produce and finance more affordable housing, using tools including American Communities Fund financing, single-family renovation loans, multifamily financing, community land trusts, limited equity cooperatives, manufactured housing, and CDFI investments.

Fannie Mae also will support lenders and home builders by establishing a secondary market for “acquisition, development, and construction” mortgage participations and by providing at least $10 billion for both rental housing and home ownership over the remainder of this decade for these activities in underserved, low- and moderate-income areas, and other targeted areas.

Fannie plans to serve as the nation’s largest investor in affordable rental housing, with investments of more than $200 billion in multifamily housing throughout the decade, including investing more than $17 billion in projects that qualify for the low-income housing tax credits and more than $40 billion in small multifamily rental housing properties.

Fannie will launch 50 Smart Commute initiatives nationwide, purchase $500 million in Energy Efficient Mortgages, and support 50 neighborhood-based pilots to promote the rehabilitation of existing housing or provide financing for infill or transit-oriented residential development projects for a variety of populations, including first-time home buyers, new Americans and older Americans.

Last week, Fannie Mae Vice Chairman Daniel Mudd joined partners in Mercedes and El Paso, Texas, and Sky City, N.M., to announce Fannie’s increased commitment to lenders for mortgage financing to low- and moderate-income borrowers in rural areas across the decade by 30 percent, from $100 billion to $130 billion.

Fannie Mae will increase its investments to support tribal housing initiatives during this decade to at least $1.25 billion, and work with the Rural Housing Service to create a structure that supports higher volumes of RHS-supported small multifamily lending.

Fannie will also fund a $5 million corporate challenge grant to the National Alliance to End Homelessness to support policy research and development, including consideration of a new federal tax credit similar in design to the low-incomehousing tax credit or other incentives that will encourage private capital investment in permanent supportive housing properties.


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