Summer 2018, Volume 31
The final numbers have been tallied and the recording-setting results are in!
CalHFA in Fiscal Year 2017-18 set an Agency historic high by financing and securitizing more than $2 billion of first mortgages, all of which went to helping 7,598 Californians find safe, affordable single family homes.
Knowing that down payment and closing costs are usually the final barrier that residents of our state run into when attempting to become homeowners, CalHFA also provided $137 million of assistance in those areas.
The Agency continued to fulfill its mission of helping low to moderate income Californians find a place to call home, and that was also evident in our Multifamily rental housing production numbers. CalHFA in FY 17-18 used $358 million in financing to create or preserve 2,400 units of affordable rental housing for veterans, families, seniors, folks with special needs and individuals in danger of homelessness.
While the program fell short of its annual production goals, in the area of first-lien lending, CalHFA’s Multifamily division more than doubled its production from the previous fiscal year, which gives the Agency something positive to build upon.
Back on the Single Family side of the shop, CalHFA’s historic success came in part thanks to expanded services, including a Veterans Loan Program, and an adjustment to the income limits that eliminated the household size division.
Then in June, CalHFA celebrated Homeownership Month by providing free homebuying counseling and education for hundreds of first-time homebuyers. Believing that it is an integral part of the homebuying process, and one that helps sustain successful homeownership, the Agency requires all first-time homebuyers to receive counseling and education.
It was out with the old and in with the new this month as CalHFA debuted its brand new website.
This project has been several months in the making. We surveyed our partners, from single family loan officers to multifamily developers, as well as internal staff and asked how they would like to see our website look and function better.
We then used the information gained to design a modern, easy-to-use website, which works seamlessly on mobile phones and tablets.
Some of the other new features are the new-look homepage, easier access to the most-used pages, better functionality and a new Calendar of Events.
When you’re done with Housing Matters, explore the brand new www.calhfa.ca.gov!
CalHFA Executive Director Tia Boatman Patterson was a guest on the Pacific Research Institute (PRI) podcast where she was interviewed by Tim Anaya.
Ms. Boatman Patterson talked about how her background and career experience made CalHFA the perfect fit for her, explained the Agency’s mission and how it goes about fulfilling that mission, then discussed a variety of housing topics.
When Anaya asked what she would do to help the housing crisis if she was queen for a day, Ms. Boatman Patterson emphatically said: “You’ve got to build!”
Listen to the 27-minute podcast at the PRI Website.
Over the past several months, CalHFA has announced three impressive additions to its executive staff, starting in February when California Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. appointed Larry Flood as the Agency’s Director of Financing.
Flood brings decades of public and private sector experience in affordable housing and real estate financing and securitization to his new role. Most recently, he spent four years as a Senior Policy Advisor for Financial Markets at the U.S. Department of the Treasury, where he oversaw the Risk-Sharing Program as it closed more than $800 million in loans with 14 different states.
Next to join the team was Jeree Glasser-Hedrick, who was appointed by Governor Brown in May as the Agency’s Director of Business and Governmental Affairs. Glasser-Hedrick has experience working with affordable housing at the federal, state and local level, as well as in the private sector, and most recently worked at the State Treasurer’s Office.
"Jeree's work at the Treasurer's office has been a continuous record of improvement and success," CalHFA Executive Director Tia Boatman Patterson said at the time. "Her impressive work and experience with the California Debt Limit Allocation Committee and the Treasurer's Office will be key to helping us increase the reach of and access to homes people can afford."
While Glasser-Hedrick was rejoining CalHFA after a previous stint in the Agency’s Multifamily Division earlier in the decade, the most recent addition to the executive staff came directly from inside the building.
Claire Tauriainen, who has worked in the CalHFA Legal Division for more than a decade, made history in July, as her appointment to General Counsel made her the first female General Counsel in the Agency’s history.Ms. Boatman Patterson explained the choice by saying of Tauriainen: “Her commitment to teamwork and familiarity with the complexities of housing law made her our top choice to lead the Office of General Counsel.”
Keep Your Home California, the federal mortgage assistance program administered by CalHFA that has helped more than 83,000 homeowners since the funds became available in 2010, is no longer accepting applications.
The program closed to new applicants at the end of June, after having provided more than $2 billion in Hardest Hit funds to prevent foreclosures. Funding will continue to be provided to qualifying homeowners currently in-process on their applications and homeowners who have already qualified to receive monthly installments from the Unemployed Mortgage Assistance Program, which can last as long as 18 months.
The success of Keep Your Home California was not only experienced by the homeowners helped, but by the entire community, as an Economic Impact Study showed that each dollar provided by the program preserved two dollars in economic activity in California.
As Keep Your Home California winds down, CalHFA recognizes that homeowners who have benefited from some of the other foreclosure avoidance programs, such as Mortgage Reinstatement Assistance and Principal Reduction, could require some help in the months and years ahead. Program representatives will continue to be available for those folks that might have questions about refinancing their mortgage or selling their home, and the Keep Your Home California website remains a rich source of information.
The California legislature’s historic housing package, signed by Governor Brown in 2017, included 15 bills designed to combat our state’s housing crisis. The package attacked the problem from several different angles, but two pieces of legislation, Senate Bill 2 and Senate Bill 3, were about providing some much needed funds to go toward the development of housing for those Californians that need it most.
SB 3 authorized the creation of Proposition 1 on the November ballot. If it passes the vote, $4 billion in bonds for housing programs and veterans’ home loans will be issued, and CalHFA will receive $150 million in financing for the MyHome program to help more California residents get down payment assistance. We expect to be able to help about 20,000 homebuyers with that funding.
While Prop 1 would be a large one-time infusion of funds, SB 2 is longer-lasting as it is a permanent source of funds for homelessness and affordable housing. From that bill, 15 percent of the funds (expected to be between $30-40 million) will be annually appropriated to CalHFA to finance mixed income multifamily housing, beginning in 2019.
In order to design a program that will make best use of that funding, the Agency has spent the past year gathering information from developers, local governments, Community Development Financial Institutions and other multifamily partners. This process was highlighted by several listening sessions up and down the state, including events in Sacramento, Marina del Rey and Long Beach.
CalHFA is now synthesizing that information to create a program which we feel will go a long way to creating much-needed affordable housing units for struggling Californians at a mix of income levels.
CalHFA has always been required to do financial reporting at the end of the calendar year, but for 2017 the Agency decided to fulfill that obligation by producing a Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) as well as the accompanying Popular Annual Financial Report (PAFR).
Though it was CalHFA’s first year creating financial reports in these formats, the project was a huge success as the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada (GFOA) awarded its highest level of recognition to both the CAFR and the PAFR.
GFOA’s impartial panel judged the CalHFA CAFR to meet the high standards of the program, which includes demonstration of a constructive “spirit of full disclosure” to clearly communicate its financial story and motivate potential users and groups to read the report.
In our mission to help low to moderate income Californians become homeowners, we work with many different lending companies throughout the state.
While we value and appreciate each and every loan officer, mortgage broker and lending company that we partner with, CalHFA would like to highlight our top three lenders in terms of loans closed in 2017. The three companies received recognition plaques from our outreach specialists earlier this year: