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GSEs Make Major Investment in Affordable Housing Programs

The federal Housing Trust Fund and the Capital Magnet Fund are getting a huge cash infusion from the Federal Housing Finance Agency to the tune of about $545 million to fund affordable housing programs and initiatives from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (the GSEs). 

“The need for more affordable housing has never been greater,” said Director Sandra L. Thompson. “A portion of every loan purchased by the Enterprises is allocated to the Housing Trust Fund and the Capital Magnet Fund, which provide resources that increase the production and preservation of affordable housing options in our communities.” 

The Housing Trust Fund (HTF), overseen by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, will receive $354 million. This fund was established in the aftermath of the Great Recession in 2008; it as a formula grant program administered by individual states. Grantees are required to use at least 80% of each annual grant for rental housing; up to 10% for homeownership housing; and up to 10% for the grantee's reasonable administrative and planning costs. HTF funds may be used for the production or preservation of affordable housing through the acquisition, new construction, reconstruction, and/or rehabilitation of non-luxury housing with suitable amenities. All HTF-assisted rental housing must meet a 30-year affordability period. 

The Capital Magnet Fund (CMF), overseen by the U.S. Department of the Treasury, will receive $191 million. The CMF offers competitively awarded grants to finance affordable housing solutions and community revitalization efforts that benefit low-income people and communities nationwide. At least 70% of Capital Magnet Fund dollars must be used to finance affordable housing, and recipients may use up to 30% of funds to finance economic development activities linked to affordable housing. Funding is also used to promote activity in geographically diverse areas of economic distress and can go to any community regardless of population. The program also touts a $20 return on every $1 of funding and has created 43,000 affordable homes and 37,600 rental units. 

By law, amounts allocated to these funds are based on the GSEs’ new business purchases. Market conditions in 2022, including higher interest rates, reduced the Enterprises’ total new business purchases compared to the previous year. 

About Author: Kyle G. Horst

Kyle G. Horst is a reporter for DS News and MReport. A graduate of the University of Texas at Tyler, he has worked for a number of daily, weekly, and monthly publications in South Dakota and Texas. With more than 10 years of experience in community journalism, he has won a number of state, national, and international awards for his writing and photography including best newspaper design by the Associated Press Managing Editors Group and the international iPhone photographer of the year by the iPhone Photography Awards. He most recently worked as editor of Community Impact Newspaper covering a number of Dallas-Ft. Worth communities on a hyperlocal level. Contact Kyle G. at [email protected].

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