Financial incentives await borrowers who incorporate healthy design features to their financed affordable multifamily housing units. This is through Fannie Mae’s newly launched initiative called Healthy Housing Rewards® that is part of its overall Sustainable Communities Partnerships and Innovation campaign.
What Are Healthy Housing Rewards®
The Healthy Housing Rewards® “will provide a financial incentive to borrowers who invest in the health and stability of the people who live in their affordable housing properties,” according to Jeffery Hayward, Fannie Mae’s Executive Vice President for Multifamily in a public statement.
For its first phase, the Healthy Housing Rewards® will offer a price break for borrowers. This is a below-the-market rate financing for projects that pass or exceed the standards of the Healthy Housing Index as noted below.
How to Sign Up for the Rewards®
Fannie Mae lists down the general eligibility requirements for Healthy Housing Rewards®:
- Your project – an affordable multifamily rental property – must be newly built or rehabilitated.
- Your project must incorporate healthy design features such that of (i) improving air quality, (ii) encouraging physical activity among the resident owners, and (iii) incorporating community gardens, common space, and playgrounds.
- Your project must score at or above 90 points, the minimum achievement score set by the Healthy Housing Index by the Center for Active Design. The Index is an interactive scorecard and a requirement for borrowers to join the Rewards® program.
- At least 60 percent of the units in the project are occupied by tenants who are earning 60 percent or below the area median income.
Fannie Mae’s Affordable Multifamily Housing
“Incorporating healthy design features in affordable multifamily properties can have a big impact on residents – from increasing physical activity and social interaction to reducing environmental triggers for asthma,” Mr. Hayward said.
“When we strengthen the connection between affordable housing and the long-term health and stability of the people and families who live there, we help create more sustainable communities across the country,” he added.
Fannie Mae provides financing for multifamily housing, with 202,000 units financed during the first quarter of 2017. About 85% of these financed properties were affordable to families with income at or below 120% of their applicable area median income.