Obama Administration Exploring New Ways to Support Affordable Rental Housing

The Obama Administration is exploring different ways to provide additional support for rental housing said Jeffrey A. Goldstein, Under Secretary at the Treasury last week.

Speaking before the National Housing Conference’s Policy Summit on Mortgage Finance Reform, Goldstein said targeted approaches could help provide liquidity and capital to affordable rentals and alleviate the problems of low-income households.

“As we wind down the GSEs, maintaining funding to this segment of the market, including through private channels, is critical,” Goldstein said adding that the private market has traditionally underserved multifamily rental properties, choosing to invest in high end developments instead.  Only 32 out of every 100 low-income families have access to adequate rental options, he added.


“We are also exploring how private channels can finance affordable multi-family housing, perhaps with limited, targeted governmental support,” he said.

Goldstein said the administration’s range of options to expand support for lending for multifamily rental properties include reforms such as risk-sharing with private institutions.  Another approach could come from expanding FHA’s capacity to support lending to the multifamily market.

“We will consider a range of reforms, such as risk-sharing with private lenders, to reduce the risk to FHA and the taxpayer, and new programs dedicated to hard-to-reach property segments, including the smaller properties that contain one-third of all rental apartments” he said.


“We support a housing finance market that provides liquidity and capital to support affordable rental options and help alleviate the burdens that many low-income households face,” he said.

While the speech didn’t specifically mention senior housing, any changes in the GSEs or FHA could have a big impact on the industry.  Despite all the talk of winding down the GSEs, Holi Leon, executive VP of PNC Real Estate said her company has yet to see any sign of slowing down from the GSEs in terms of funding senior housing during a webinar from NREI Online,

“Each are looking at deals as aggressively, trying to win the business,” Leon said.  “[We’ve seen] no evidence to limit production or step out of the space.”

As far as what the GSEs will look like in the future, Leon said it was still up in the air.  “What I do know, working on new loans with them showing them new opportunities,” she said.

View a copy of the speech.