Washington Report from NCSHA

From our Friends at NCSHA:

The 2018 edition of the "State of the Nation’s Housing" from Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies, published last month, marks the 30th anniversary of that indispensable report, which enabled the researchers to assess how current conditions "echo the past and are a yardstick for the progress we as a nation have and have not made in fulfilling the promise of a decent, affordable home for all."

NCSHA’s release this week of our latest "State HFA Factbook" — which in its current form is about the same age as "State of the Nation’s Housing" — marks a similar opportunity to reflect on the growth and evolution of state HFAs in helping fulfill that promise over a generation. Three themes stand out:

  • State HFAs have massively increased their financial commitment and impact. In 2016, HFAs generated more than $22 billion in new financing to provide affordable homeownership, more than double the amount they provided 30 years ago, even after adjusting for inflation. HFAs also issued more than $7 billion in multifamily housing bonds in 2016, a nearly five-fold increase, in real terms, over three decades.
  • State HFAs have substantially diversified their services. The aggregate HFA multifamily portfolio as of 2016 consisted of more than 1.2 million units in more than 16,000 properties — more than doubling in both categories since the late 1980s. And many more agencies today are providing much more funding and services to expand housing options for the homeless, disabled, and elderly.
  • State HFAs have stepped up to deliver essential federal housing resources. The "State HFA Factbook" from 30 years back barely mentions HFA administration of the then-new Housing Credit, which the current edition reports represented a $16.5 billion investment that created 2 million affordable apartments as of 2016. Dozens of HFAs are delivering other resources authorized over time by Congresses controlled by both parties to help communities rebuild from foreclosure, recover from natural disasters, revitalize distressed areas, and meet other pressing needs.

Like this year’s "State of the Nation’s Housing," the "State HFA Factbook" also finds that some things remained consistent over the past 30 years. Foremost for HFAs is their unique capacity to provide financing to all parts of their states — urban areas, rural communities, suburban towns, and tribal lands — and to borrowers who otherwise would not be served.

The median borrower income for an HFA homeownership loan in 2016 was just under $50,000, 14 percent lower than the national median family income. And more than 80 percent of all households in Housing Credit apartments earn 50 percent or less of their area’s median income.

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