Jeff Hayward is Fannie Mae’s executive vice president and head of its multifamily business. For over 30 years, he has led various aspects of the business including credit, quality control, and risk management. Hayward is now responsible for the corporate affordable housing strategy.
Housing affordability is a crucial ingredient in any thriving community. And yet, in cities and towns across the country, there is a growing recognition that truly “sustainable communities” can be created only when multiple forces come into play. The cost of a home is only one of those factors.
[Expert Commentary] The Fair Housing Act changed lives, but it did not change all attitudes. It did not change all behaviors. The legacy of housing discrimination and segregation remains a reality in virtually every community in the United States.
With the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program, low-income renters in the program pay 30% of their incomes toward housing, with the federally funded program paying the balance to the landlord up to a set maximum. Demand is so great, however, that thousands of families can linger for years on waitlists in some cities with no assurance they will ever receive a voucher. Created in the 1970s, it may be time to take a fresh look at the voucher system to ensure we're effectively serving today's households.
Multifamily construction didn’t really rebound after the crash until 2013. Even still, it's playing “catch up.” In addition, construction of subsidized housing has declined as a percentage of all new multifamily construction and now represents only around a fifth of new construction annually – not enough to keep pace with demand. This is the first of a two-part EXCLUSIVE from Fannie Mae to readers of HousingWire.
With the recent turnover in leadership at the Federal Housing Finance Agency, we may be standing at the precipice of great change in the government’s role in supporting the mortgage market through Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.