Ginnie Mae Contributes to Affordable Housing Growth

Marking 13 years of continuous growth, Ginnie Mae said its Multifamily Mortgage-Backed Securities program increased by 7.4% in fiscal year 2006, from $35.3 billion to $37.8 billion.

Ginnie Mae president Robert M. Couch stressed that multifamily housing is important since affordable rental housing "is often the first step on the ladder to homeownership."

"We support affordable housing, helping people achieve homeownership and helping to maintain a strong supply of affordable rental housing. Both are necessary if American families are to have safe, decent places to live," he said.

The program was recently expanded to include rural multifamily properties (Section 538). However, Ginnie Mae said, "FHA loans are still the primary component of the multifamily program" since they consist of about 98% of all eligible FHA multifamily loans placed in Ginnie Mae securities. Ginnie Mae maintains the "efficiency as a securitization vehicle" of the multifamily program is consistently reviewed to secure it is attractive to investors.

It is part of the effort Ginnie Mae has made over the years to provide opportunities in the multifamily housing market, said Ted Foster, senior vice president of Ginnie Mae's MBS. "By promoting access to mortgage credit and enhancing the liquidity of mortgage investment, Ginnie Mae has increased the availability of affordable rental housing for millions of Americans."

The MMBS portfolio growth is part of a trend that started in 2002, Ginnie Mae said, reaching double-digit rates that peaked in 2004. Since 1971, Ginnie Mae has guaranteed more than $94 billion in MMBS financing for affordable housing units in apartment buildings, nursing homes and assisted-living facilities.

These programs allow approved issuers to securitize project and construction loans guaranteed of full and timely payments of principal and interest by the United States.

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