Freddie Mac has closed its first low-income housing tax credit (LIHTC) fund with Enterprise Community Investment and its first equity investment within that fund after being out the market for years.
The national fund will provide developers with critical equity to create and preserve affordable homes. It will focus on areas and transactions that have been underserved over the past decade, such as rural communities, 4% LIHTC financing, and developments that provide intensive supportive services to their residents, such as health care and job training. The fund will provide as much as $100 million in targeted affordable housing investments, with more investments possible as additional transactions are closed, according to Freddie Mac.
The government-sponsored enterprise said it partnered with Enterprise because of the firm’s deep expertise with the LIHTC program and commitment to serving communities in need. Since 1982, Enterprise has invested $12.8 billion in LIHTC equity to finance more than 150,000 homes.
“We are pleased to announce our first low-income housing tax credit fund in nearly a decade, and the first transaction as part of that fund,” said David Leopold, vice president for Targeted Affordable Sales & Investments at Freddie Mac. “This transaction with Enterprise is the first of many investments that will provide highly targeted affordable housing to some of the most underserved communities in the country.”
Freddie Mac and Enterprise announced they are investing $8.2 million in LIHTC equity in Wintergreen West, which will provide 40 apartment homes for residents of Summit County, Colo., a rural area 75 miles west of Denver. The units will range from one- to three-bedrooms and offer homes to people making between 30% and 60% of the area median income. It’s difficult for low- and moderate-income residents to find affordable homes in the area, and short-term rentals have exacerbated the challenge. This new development by Gorman & Co. will be part of a larger, mixed-income community.
“This fund restarts a crucial partnership for producing well-designed, affordable homes,” said Charlie Werhane, president and CEO, Enterprise Community Investment. “We look forward to working with Freddie Mac to provide homes that create opportunity for low- and moderate-income people in diverse, thriving communities.”
Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae were given the go-ahead to invest in housing credits on a limited basis by the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) late last year.
Each enterprise will have an annual investment limit of $500 million, less than a 5% market share for each. Within this funding cap, any investments above $300 million in a given year are required to be in areas that have been identified by FHFA as markets that have difficulty attracting investors. These investments are designed to preserve affordable housing, support mixed-income housing, provide supportive housing, or meet other affordable housing objectives.
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were two of the nation’s largest LIHTC investors, representing an estimated 35% to 40% of the market, before being placed into conservatorship by FHFA in 2008. The enterprises’ financial condition deteriorated during the housing market crash, requiring government intervention.