Volume 01  | December 21, 2016
Todd A. Lee
From the Executive Director
As we close out 2016 and look forward to 2017, I would like to introduce DCHFA’s new quarterly newsletter “The Home Front.”  This publication will expand our engagement with the community and our business partners about the work of the Agency as well as the affordable housing industry.  

In April, I was appointed executive director of DCHFA.   This has been a transformative year for me personally as well as for this dynamic Agency.   We have filled some of our key staff positions including the chief financial officer, strengthened the Finance division through the creation of the treasurer position and rebranded the Public Finance division as Multifamily Lending and Neighborhood Investments to truly reflect the division’s work.  In 2016, DCHFA issued $311.6 million in bond financing for the development or redevelopment of 2,090 affordable housing units in Wards 1, 2,4,5,6, 7 and 8.  This year Single Family Programs launched the Mortgage Credit Certificate program which provides qualified borrowers the ability to claim a federal tax credit of 20 percent of the mortgage interest paid during a calendar year.   Last week, DCHFA was selected by the DC Department of Housing and Community Development as a co-administrator of the Home Purchase Assistance Program (HPAP).   This will bolster the Agency’s impact on homeownership opportunities in the District. 

The staff at DCHFA and I wish you a fantastic holiday season. We are looking forward to another great year of financing affordable housing in Washington, D.C. in 2017! 
Conforming Loan Limit
Increases Mean More  Buying
Power for D.C. residents 
On November 23, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) announced the first increase in the maximum conforming loan limits for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac mortgages since 2006.   Next year, the maximum conforming loan limit increases from $417,000 to $424,100.

As result of the loan limit increases, DCHFA’s mortgage loan program DC Open Doors’ conventional and FHA loan products will increase to the new higher limits prescribed by FHFA.  This increase gives over $7,000 more buying power to borrowers who want to purchase without having to provide a down payment. 

Washington, D.C. is a city with expensive and rising home sales prices; the FHFA’s decision means more buying power for future homeowners.  On the first and third Wednesday of each month the Single Family Programs staff holds DC Open Doors Informational Sessions at DCHFA, 6:30-8:00 p.m.  The first seminar of 2017 will take place on January 18th.   
HUD Ruling Provides Safe Housing 

On December 16, HUD’s Final Rule, "Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013(VAWA): Implementation in HUD Housing Programs"   became effective.  This rule implements HUD’s recognition of the importance of providing housing protections and rights to victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking. 

The VAWA reauthorization in 2013 expanded housing protections beyond the Section 8 programs to include all covered HUD programs as well as the Housing Trust Fund, which was not statutorily listed as a covered program.  This rule reflects the statutory changes made by VAWA 2013. In addition, the changes will increase opportunities for all individuals to live in safe housing; this will reduce the risk of homelessness and further HUD’s mission of utilizing housing to improve quality of life.   The Final Rule was entered into the Federal Register and released on November 16, 2016.

Deal Profile:  Metro Village 

This summer when the ribbon was cut at Metro Village (7053 Spring Place NW, Washington, D.C.) the building was already fully leased.   DCHFA provided $17.8 million in short term DCHFA tax exempt bonds in acquisition and construction financing to construct Metro Village.  The development consists of 150 affordable and market rate units in a transit oriented (adjacent to the Takoma Metro Station) mixed-use community in Ward 4’s Takoma Park neighborhood.  This neighborhood has seen a recent emergence in retail, increased rental rates and home prices but does not have an adequate stock of affordable housing.   Metro Village gives District families and individuals another option for quality affordable apartments; 80 percent of the units will be leased at or below 60 percent of the area median income; 20 percent are market rate units.

Financing affordable housing is a collaborative effort, a combination of tax exempt bonds issued by DCHFA, proceeds from the syndication of low income housing tax credits syndicated by Stratford Capital  and a loan from the Housing Production Trust Fund provided by the DC Department of Housing and Community Development all helped to bring this project from concept to completion.

Metro Village is an example of implementing Mayor Muriel Bowser’s strategy of making the most sought after housing amenities (access to public transportation, parking and a walkable community with retail options) available to people at a range of income levels.   Regardless of income D.C. residents should have the option to live in a community like Metro Village.  
DC Open Doors Homebuyers’ Informational Session

January  18, 6:30- 8:00 p.m. at DCHFA 815 Florida Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20001.