Administrative Initiative to Give State and Local FHAs a Boost

Administrative Initiative to Give State and Local FHAs a Boost

As part of its comprehensive plan to stabilize the U.S. housing market, the Obama Administrative announced a new initiative for state and local housing finance agencies (HFAs) that will help support low mortgage rates and expand resources to develop affordable rental properties.

The key parts of the initiative, developed by the Department of the Treasury, HUD, the Federal Housing Finance Agency, Fannie Mae, and Freddie Mac, are:

  • Temporary Credit and Liquidity Program (TCLP)—Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will provide replacement credit and liquidity facilities available to HFAs to help reduce the costs of maintaining existing financing for HFAs and help relieve them of some of their financial strains.
  • New Issue Bond Program (NIBP)—The NIBP will provide temporary financing for HFAs to issue new mortgage revenue bonds, which support the development of new rental housing units and will help first-time homebuyers. Using the authority under the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008, Treasury will purchase the securities of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac backed by these new mortgage revenue bonds.

HFAs will have to pay fees—which cover costs to the Treasury and taxpayers—so they can access both programs. The fee for the TCLP will increase over time to encourage HFAs to find private alternatives as quickly as possible.

To date, state and local officials are applauding the initiative. “The current lack of liquidity in Florida jeopardizes the financial integrity of that state’s housing Guarantee Fund, putting at risk 94 multifamily rental developments with 24,000 affordable units that have $740 million of bonds outstanding,” said Steve Auger of the Florida Housing Finance Corporation. “Over the last 19 months, the lack of liquidity has cost the FHFC Guarantee Fund $16 million in increased bond interest expense. The Administration’s plan will provide significant help by offering a lower cost alternative.”