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News Release

FHFA Issues Final Rule Amending Federal Home Loan Banks' Affordable Housing Program Regulation

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
11/20/2018

Washington, DC – The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) has published a final rule amending its regulation for the Federal Home Loan Banks' (FHLBanks) Affordable Housing Program (AHP).  The final rule provides additional flexibility at the local level for the FHLBanks, in consultation with their Advisory Councils, to allocate their AHP funds and to design their project selection scoring systems to address affordable housing needs in their districts.  The amendments would also make the program easier to use, both for the FHLBanks and award recipients, by reducing regulatory monitoring requirements that are redundant with other federal programs.

The final rule also authorizes the FHLBanks to establish special competitive funds that target specific affordable housing needs in their districts.  It also:

  • Removes the requirement for retention agreements for owner-occupied units where the AHP subsidy is used solely for rehabilitation, and reduces administrative and financial burdens on FHLBanks, members, and households related to calculating and obtaining household subsidy repayments.

The FHLBanks must implement all changes in the final rule by Jan. 1, 2021, except that they must implement the changes regarding the owner-occupied retention agreement requirements by Jan. 1, 2020.   A FHLBank may choose to implement any provision of the final rule before the applicable implementation date. 

“We appreciate the thoughtful comments we received on the proposed rule and implemented many of those suggestions," said FHFA Director Melvin L. Watt.  “We believe that those suggestions incorporated into the final rule will help to further strengthen this important program, which has supported more than one million units of housing affordable to low-income homebuyers and renters since its inception in 1990."

The Federal Home Loan Bank Act requires each FHLBank to establish a program to enable FHLBank members to provide subsidies for long-term, low- and moderate-income, owner-occupied and affordable rental housing.  Each FHLBank is required to allocate annually 10 percent of its prior year's net income to fund its program to help subsidize the purchase, construction, and rehabilitation of affordable rental and owner-occupied housing.  In 2017, the FHLBanks' net income generated $384 million in AHP funding.  

FHFA will host a webinar at 2 p.m. EST, Dec. 13, 2018, to describe the final rule and answer questions.  Questions may be submitted in advance to DHMG.HCI@fhfa.gov.  Register here for the webinar.

Link to Final Rule

Attachments:

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The Federal Housing Finance Agency regulates Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the 11 Federal Home Loan Banks. These government-sponsored enterprises provide more than $6.2 trillion in funding for the U.S. mortgage markets and financial institutions. Additional information is available at www.FHFA.gov, on Twitter @FHFA, YouTube and LinkedIn.
Contacts:

Media: Corinne Russell (202) 649-3032 / Stefanie Johnson (202) 649-3030
Consumers: Consumer Communications or (202) 649-3811

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