FHFA Requests Comments on Affordable Housing Program

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) announced a Request for Comments (RFC) from the public regarding proposed amendments to its regulation on the Federal Home Loan Banks’ Affordable Housing Program (AHP or Program). The deadline for submitting comments has been extended to June 12, 2018.

The AHP is a result of the Federal Home Loan Bank Act, which requires each of the FHFA’s regulated banks to have affordable housing programs which “provide subsidies for long-term, low-and moderate-income, owner-occupied and affordable rental housing.”

Programs can include subsidies to finance, for families with incomes at or below 80 percent of the area median income, or the purchasing, constructing or rehabilitation of at least 20 percent of rental housing units affordable for low-income households.

The proposed amendments offers a plethora of changes, such as

  • Allowing Banks authority to allocate their AHP funds;
  • Authorizing special competitive funds for specific affordable housing needs;
  • Providing Banks the authority to build their own project selection scoring criteria;
  • Removing requirement for retention agreements for owner-occupied units;
  • Aligning project monitoring requirements with those of other federal government funding programs;
  • Clarifying provisions on remediating noncompliance and certain operational requirements; and
  • Streamlining and reorganizing the regulation.

The FHFA will review all comments before making their final decision regarding the amendments. It is important that these organizations receive public opinion, from individuals to organizations, about matters that affect many Americans.

NAWRB plans to submit comments on behalf of women in the housing and real estate ecosystem. Because of a persistent gender wage gap, lack of opportunities for professional advancement, a “pink tax” and student loan debt, women face greater obstacles in affording a home. Providing affordable housing enables women to plant their roots as they work to increase their financial independence and pursue their dreams.

Submit a comment here.