Fannie Mae boosts workforce lending programs

Fannie Mae’s latest multifamily workforce housing program allows borrowers to decide to restrict the rental income they will receive in order to increase affordability.

The Sponsor-Dedicated Workforce product will be originated by Fannie Mae Delegated Underwriting and Servicing lenders.

A sponsor is the principal equity owner of the property and/or the primary decision maker for the borrower.

With this program, the borrower needs to keep at least 20% of the units affordable for consumers earning up to 80% of the area median income. But in certain “cost-burdened” locations, the eligible AMI can be between 100% and 120%.

This “product will help solve rental affordability, accessibility, and sustainability challenges that missing-middle renters currently face,” said Rob Levin, Fannie Mae senior vice president and multifamily chief customer officer.

This is a full program, without a sunset, and loans produced are included in Fannie Mae’s multifamily lending cap, which for 2023 is $75 billion.

Through the first two quarters of this year, Fannie Mae’s multifamily business volume was $25.3 billion; the government-sponsored enterprise did $69 billion last year.

More than 90% of the multifamily loans Fannie Mae finances are considered to be “workforce housing,” for renters at or below 120% of the AMI.

Fannie Mae has another similar program, Sponsor-initiated Affordability. It provides better pricing and underwriting flexibility to incentivize the voluntary creation or preservation of units that are affordable to tenants earning 80% of AMI or less. It has rent and income restrictions for sponsor participation.

With SDW, the borrower has 12 months from the mortgage loan origination date to bring the property into compliance with the program’s rent levels. Those limitations must remain in place for the entire loan term. The borrower must recertify rent level compliance annually.

“Affordability continues to be a significant challenge for multifamily renters as rent increases have outpaced income growth,” said Michele Evans, executive vice president and head of multifamily. “Fannie Mae is addressing the need for workforce housing by providing innovative, attractive programs that create and preserve affordable multifamily units while enabling socially responsible investment opportunities for investors.”


Related Articles