All segments of the U.S. housing market are going strong, including the multifamily sector where construction of new apartments hovers near a recent peak. However, many of the new apartments being built are too expensive for low- and moderate-income renters. That’s why it’s important for Ginnie Mae’s multifamily MBS program to continue its role as a source of mortgage capital for developers and owners. These groups are building new and refinancing existing apartments that are home to low- and moderate-income families.
While primarily known for financing homeownership, Ginnie Mae’s MBS programs also support mortgage lending for qualifying apartment buildings. For example, in August, $1.53 billion of Ginnie Mae MBS were issued to finance multifamily housing and more than $16.5 billion were issued for the fiscal year through August 31.
Ginnie Mae’s MBS guarantee works in tandem with mortgage insurance from the Federal Housing Administration to attract lenders and investors to the multifamily mortgage market. By working together, FHA and Ginnie Mae help lower the cost of mortgage loans to construct new or rehabilitate existing rental housing affordable for low- and moderate-income consumers. Those lower-cost mortgage loans lead to reduced construction and rehab costs and, ultimately, more affordable rents for families.
The need for affordable rental housing is great. According to data from the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University, nearly half of renters in the U.S are cost-burdened, meaning that their rent payments exceed 30 percent of their gross income.
For decades, Ginnie Mae has helped to finance affordable rental housing, and the cumulative extent of its efforts is significant. Since issuing its first multifamily MBS in 1971, Ginnie Mae has guaranteed more than $290 billion of multifamily MBS.
Because of participation in the Ginnie Mae multifamily MBS program from more than 60 large and small lenders across the U.S., families are able to afford quality rental housing.