The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s (GSEs) regulator, announced that they are keeping the GSEs multifamily lending cap at $36.5 billion, the same level as 2016. FHFA expects that the size of the multifamily market in 2017 will be approximately the same as in 2016. As part of the process outlined in the GSEs Scorecard, FHFA used industry input to make the assessment on the size of the market and will continue to utilize this process on a quarterly basis during 2017. As previously reported, NMHC and NAA were one of the sources that provided input for the FHFA analysis.
FHFA released the cap prior to finalizing the 2017 Scorecard for the Enterprises to maintain continuity in the market. They expect to provide further details in the Scorecard on the role the GSEs will play in 2017. Certain exclusions from the 2017 cap exist for loans in the affordable and underserved market segments. These exclusions will remain the same in 2017 as they were in 2016 with one minor change to the exclusion for multifamily loans that finance energy or water efficiency improvements. In 2017, a minimum of 20 percent of units in a multifamily project must be deemed affordable in order to take advantage of this exclusion for loans funded under Fannie Mae's Green Building Certification program or Freddie Mac's Green Certified program.