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Multifamily Viewpoints

Our New Green Rebate Offering — Go Green and Save in More Ways Than One

By Mitchell Resnick*
Published on September 15, 2015

Our Green Rebate offering encourages borrowers to use the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s free ENERGY STAR® Portfolio Manager® tool to assess the energy performance of their multifamily properties, as a first step in identifying opportunities for improvements. As an incentive to borrowers to make this assessment, we’ll now provide a rebate of $5,000 for new loans when the ENERGY STAR Score for the property is reported, regardless of the score achieved.

Borrowers: It's easy to get a rebate. Here's how.

Beyond conserving energy, the effort has the potential to make properties more affordable, by saving renters money on utilities, and improve the overall quality of these buildings.

Based on an analysis of Freddie Mac multifamily loans funded last year (and using the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s utility allowance as a baseline tenant utility payment), if tenants in all units paid 10% less in utilities, then 10% more units would become affordable at 50% of Area Median Income.

Green Rebate is also our first initiative to increase liquidity in the energy retrofit market and strengthen the market for green investments. Environmentally friendly efforts like these are particularly appealing to investors who have money earmarked to invest in green initiatives.

As one of the largest issuers of commercial mortgage-backed securities, Freddie Mac aims to bring simplicity to the market, as well as to agency and private label commercial mortgage-backed securities (CMBS) by encouraging the adoption of one universal scoring system — ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager. Doing so will provide clarity to borrowers and investors, while providing further liquidity to the multifamily capital markets. We will report the scores in our upcoming K-Deal securitizations.

Green Rebate is our first step to increase energy efficient rental housing. Look for more new loan offerings to come that will benefit the environment, renters and our customers.

*Mitch Resnick left Freddie Mac in April 2016. He was vice president of capital markets.

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