Fannie Mae changes name of rental division, expects more tenants
Fannie Mae is changing the name of the division that handles rentals at the government-sponsored entity. From Friday, its Housing and Community Development division will be called Multifamily Mortgage Business, or Multifamily for short. According to the GSE, the rebranding is an effort to clarify the focus of the division. The new name is a parallel to Fannie Mae’s Single-Family Mortgage Business. "Multifamily will continue to focus on rental housing finance, especially affordable rentals, as an increasingly important part of the company’s mission," said Ken Bacon, EVP of the Multifamily Mortgage Business. Sources inside Fannie Mae tell HousingWire that the GSE is ramping up its rental services. The main struggle so far, they say, is getting renters with qualifying credit scores. The House heard testimony on Wednesday on this growing role. Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), chairman of the committee, said the GSEs should follow the example of the Federal Home Loan Banks, where private entities make decisions on profit alone and a fixed percentage of those profits are diverted to subsidized housing. "In my opinion," Frank said, "it should be rental properties being subsidized." For his part, Bacon sees the sector growing and Fannie Mae is preparing for the uptick. "In the coming years, affordable rental housing will play a significant role in the housing market as the nation and households grow," Bacon adds. "Through the Multifamily Mortgage Business, Fannie Mae will continue to serve as a leader in affordable lending." Write to Jacob Gaffney.