Three years after the launch of Fannie Mae’s Healthy Housing Rewards Enhanced Resident Services, the program’s social and economic benefits continue to become more evident.

Healthy Housing Rewards Enhanced Resident Services offers incentives to apartment owners who incorporate high-quality resident services at multifamily properties where at least 60% of the units serve tenants earning 60% of the area median income or less. These may include health and wellness services, food access and security services, youth engagement programs, and financial coaching.

The Enhanced Resident Services program has benefited households in more than 2,300 multifamily units by providing lower-cost mortgage financing to support a property owner’s efforts to provide high-quality resident services.

A growing body of evidence indicates that resident services lead to meaningful improvements in housing stability, particularly for minority-led households that face higher eviction rates. Black renters in the U.S. are evicted at a rate 70% higher than white renters, according to Princeton University Eviction Lab‘s December 2020 study, “Racial and Gender Disparities Among Evicted Americans,” and these racial disparities in housing instability illustrate the urgent need for efforts that can close that gap and help ensure stability for all tenants.

While it is too early to fully quantify the impact of Healthy Housing Rewards Enhanced Resident Services, there are many examples of how services like those offered are helping residents maintain safe, stable places to live.

The Syracuse Housing Authority in New York, for example, brought on a case manager who intervened on behalf of tenants as soon as they fell behind on rent. The counselor referred residents to financial counseling, mental health providers, conflict resolution, and other resources based on individual needs.

By introducing the case manager early on, the housing authority cut annual eviction filings by 75%, to 203 from 834, and evictions fell by 55% from 60 to 27. This resulted in $116,000 savings for the property owner, money that would have been spent on eviction filings and lost rental income. The net savings for the property owners were apparent—even after factoring in the cost of a case manager.

High-quality resident services programming in privately owned affordable housing has had a similar positive impact.

CommonBond Communities, a CORES-certified resident services provider that has financed affordable properties through Healthy Housing Rewards, tracks the number of residents with housing risks that are resolved through its resident services efforts. The nonprofit found that in 2019, of the households that had a lease violation (such as nonpayment of rent), 86% (586 households) were able to remain stably housed for at least one year after engaging with the organization’s eviction prevention services.

CommonBond estimates that keeping families stably housed has far-reaching social benefits, including improved educational outcomes and economic mobility for residents. Less disruption to the rent roll also benefited the property owner.

A recent report from the Stewards of Affordable Housing for the Future (SAHF) also found that high-quality resident services may be even more meaningful in preventing evictions for residents most vulnerable to housing instability including Black, Latinx, and female-led households.

Among the SAHF member properties studied, Black households in affordable properties with high-quality resident services had a 27% lower rate of evictions than those in similar affordable properties without services.

To date, more than 32 organizations have received the CORES certification, which represents the highest-quality resident service provision in the market. Fannie Mae is proud to partner with organizations like Comunidad Partners, CommonBond Communities, Related Cos., and Rainbow Housing to support resident services that lead to greater stability and opportunity for affordable housing residents.

We hope to grow the positive impact of Healthy Housing Rewards Enhanced Resident Services, which so far has supported resident services in 15 multifamily properties. By leveraging the SAHF framework for assessing and certifying resident services through CORES certification, we hope to build on this success and demonstrate the financial and social value of meaningful and consistent support to help renters stay stably housed, healthier, and more prosperous.