Treasury Kicks Off Support for Local Housing Agencies
The US Treasury Department, working with the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), completed the implementation of the Housing Finance Agency (HFA) Initiative. According to the announcement, the HFA Initiative is a key element to the Obama Administration’s Homeowner Affordability and Stability Plan, which attempts to expand resources for low-to-middle income borrowers to purchase or rent homes. The Treasury does not expect the Initiative to come at a cost to taxpayers, according to the announcement. In October, the Treasury announced two parts of the initiative, the New Issue Bond Program (NIBP) to support new lending by the HFAs, and the Temporary Credit and Liquidity Program (TCLP) to deliver relief to the agencies’ financial strains. In September, HousingWire reported on the initial talks to provide liquidity to the HFAs like the New York State Housing Finance Agency to originate mortgages for eligible borrowers. Through more than 90 participating HFA’s, the Treasury attempts to provide affordable financing to “hundreds of thousands” of borrowers to purchase, rehabilitate or refinance a home. The HFA’s will also provide multifamily loans to keep rents affordable for borrowers. "Supporting the work of state and local HFAs is critical to the Administration's broader initiative to stabilize the housing market, which is helping to keep mortgage rates low and mortgage finance flowing for American households across the country," said Treasury secretary Tim Geithner. Susan Dewey, president of the National Council of State Housing Agencies (NCSHA) and executive director of the Virginia Housing Development Authority said that the bond proceeds from the recently completed transactions, coupled with the $7.7bn in retail housing bonds issued by the state HFAs allows the agencies to finance more than 200,000 homes. Write to Jon Prior.