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Fannie Mae Wants To Help Ease The Affordable Housing Crisis

Mortgage giant Fannie Mae is stepping up to help with the affordable housing crisis.

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The mortgage-finance company is working on a pilot program that aims to encourage the construction of affordable homes by eradicating some hurdles that borrowers face when obtaining a loan. Another pilot project will explore ways to make rehabilitating dilapidated homes cheaper for borrowers, Bloomberg reports.

This is an important move when home values and construction costs have soared, sending both individuals and businesses in search of more affordable markets. 

Under the current system, borrowers receive temporary loans from a bank when they hire a builder. That loan can later be refinanced into a mortgage by the bank or another lender that can in turn sell the mortgage to Fannie. But in the past, this sale could not happen until the home was completely built, making lenders nervous about new construction because it could mean holding on to a loan for several months, Bloomberg reports.

The new program would allow lenders to sell a loan to Fannie Mae on the first day of construction. Fannie would then package the loan with other mortgage-backed securities, making it cheaper and easier to obtain.

The new program is awaiting approval from the Federal Housing Finance Agency. If given the green light, it could be a step forward in addressing a housing crisis affecting thousands of residents across the country.