Finance Midwest

Walker & Dunlop playing key role in Freddie Mac affordable-housing program

Walker & Dunlop, Inc. has been approved as a seller/servicer under Freddie Mac’s Affordable Single-Family Rental pilot program, which is intended to offer additional financing options for workforce and affordable rental housing in one- to four-unit buildings.

With this new partnership, Walker & Dunlop will focus on middle markets with an average loan size between $10 million to $25 million.

“Increasing the availability of affordable rental housing across the United States is the top priority for Freddie Mac’s affordable single-family rental pilot,” said David Leopold, Freddie Mac Multifamily vice president of targeted affordable sales and investments. “Given Walker & Dunlop’s experience in this space and their ranking as the second-largest affordable multifamily lender in the country, we are pleased to have them as one of our partners in this process.”

Since the financial crisis, SFR has been the fastest-growing segment of the housing market. Today, SFRs account for 35 percent of the country’s 44 million rental units, compared with 31 percent in 2006. More than half of renters live in buildings with less than four units. Changing demographics and evolving household preferences will continue to drive growth in the space as more families search for affordable ways to live comfortably.

To fill this market need, the Freddie Mac SFR program offers a new, competitive alternative to owners and investors of affordable single-family rentals. The new financing option provides more leverage, increased loan consolidation, longer-term loans, fixed rates and non-recourse loans.

As one of nine firms approved for this new program, Walker & Dunlop will leverage its deep multifamily lending expertise, strong relationships and extensive market knowledge to improve the SFR lending process for its borrowers.

The dedicated Walker & Dunlop SFR team will be led by Richard Warner, Executive Vice President and Chief Credit Officer; Ted Patch, Chief Production Officer; and Mitchell Resnick, Senior Vice President and Treasurer. Gabe Weinert, Senior Vice President in Walker & Dunlop’s Capital Markets Group, will serve as the SFR specialist.