Multifamily Borrowers Get New Incentive to Improve Tenants’ Lives

multifamily borrowers

Fannie Mae has unveiled a new product that encourages multifamily borrowers to offer programs that improve the health and well-being of their tenants. Borrowers who take advantage of the Enhanced Resident Services™ product get a lower borrowing rate, flexible underwriting and other favorable terms as of Jan. 15 of this year.

Enhanced Resident Services is part of Fannie Mae’s Healthy Housing Rewards™ program which kicked off last spring. Through the first phase of the program begun last year, borrowers may be eligible for incentives for incorporating design features into multifamily spaces that improve air quality, encourage physical activity, and incorporate common spaces like community gardens and playgrounds for children.

Fannie Mae is the leading source of financing in the multifamily sector in the U.S., and the program targets both newly constructed and rehabilitated properties where the majority of tenants have low to median average income.

New Phase of Program for Multifamily Borrowers Focuses Services

The newest phase of the program, Enhanced Resident Services, offers borrowers incentives for offering their residents services rather than for building design. These include services like day care, food access, youth and education programming, job training, and wellness programs.

“By participating in our program, borrowers will save between $15,000 and $75,000 per year,” according to Bob Simpson, the vice president of Fannie Mae’s Affordable and Green Financing. “Amounts saved can be used to offset resident services costs at their property for the life of the loan – thus ensuring that low- income residents who live there have access to health, education and other community services.”

To be eligible to participate, at least 60% of units in the borrower’s multifamily property must have tenants that have income at or below the median average for their area.

Fannie Mae Partners with Non-Profit Group

Fannie Mae is implementing the newest program with Stewards for Affordable Housing for the Future (SAHF), which is a non-profit group of affordable housing providers that offer initial and ongoing compliance certifications to both the borrower and the property providing the enhanced services. Fannie Mae pays for the initial certifications.

Eileen Fitzgerald, the CEO of that non-profit group said in a press release that the new “…Enhanced Resident Services is a groundbreaking approach to supporting individuals and families in affordable rental housing.”

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