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Why are State Housing Finance Agencies Critical to the Affordable Housing Crisis?

The availability of affordable rental housing and homeownership opportunities continue to become a central focus of attention. Achieving affordable housing is practically impossible without public, private and non-profit partnerships; particularly the role of state housing finance agencies. So you ask, why are they important?

State Housing Finance Agencies (HFAs) have been central to the nation’s affordable housing system for over 50 years. Their role is pivotal in making affordable housing accessible to low- and middle-income households. Let’s delve into their contributions:

Financing and Funding:

  • HFAs deliver financial support for the purchase, development, and rehabilitation of affordable homes and rental apartments.

  • They have facilitated more than $500 billion in financing, resulting in the creation of over 7.5 millionaffordable homes and rental units.

Independence and Self-Support:

  • Most HFAs operate as independent entities under the guidance of a board of directors appointed by their state’s governor.

  • They are self-supporting, operating in the capital markets without direct financial backing from their respective states. HFAs generate their own resources to fund activities.

Combining Financial Tools and Policy-Making:

  • Each state HFA combines the financial tools of a large-scale lending institution with the planning and policy-making responsibilities of a mission-oriented, public-purpose agency.

  • They adapt to evolving challenges, positioning themselves as key players in addressing housing needs.

Impacts and Services:

  • HFAs are reliable sources of capital within the affordable housing system.

  • They administer federal rental housing resources and provide high-quality affordable housing financing.

  • HFAs also play a crucial role in serving borrowers of color and reaching underserved markets.

Economic Benefits:

  • State HFAs contribute to their states’ economies by generating economic benefits.

  • Their value proposition lies at the center of the American affordable housing system.

HFA’s are an essential component in solving the affordable housing challenge and I encourage any practitioner to become very familiar with the programs specific to their footprint and align efforts to impact change.


Larry L. Gilmore, CMB, AMP

President & CEO

ClearBlu Group Inc.


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