Building Communities That Invest in Their Residents
MAKING HOME POSSIBLE IN FLORIDA
Through Tenant Advancement Commitments, Freddie Mac is incentivizing the creation of affordable rental units that provide supportive services for residents.
Rental housing can be a challenge for many families— some earn too much to qualify for public housing subsidies, but not quite enough to afford market-rate rents. This “missing middle” often includes working-class families that serve critical roles in their communities, such as first responders, medical professionals, teachers and service industry workers.
Freddie Mac Multifamily offers Tenant Advancement Commitments to encourage more production of rental units for this underserved demographic. This product offers developers conventional financing with favorable pricing and credit terms in exchange for their commitment to keeping a portion of their buildings’ units affordable and providing social services for residents.
In 2018, Freddie Mac collaborated with Wells Fargo and Bridge on its first Tenant Advancement Commitment. The $400 million commitment financed affordable rental units in multiple properties across the country. The first property financed through this deal was Walden Lake apartments in Plant City, Fla.
Half of the units at Walden Lake are affordable for families earning at or below 80% of the area median income. In addition to offering traditional amenities including a swimming pool, playground and fitness center, residents also have access to an on-site resource center managed by Project Access.
“The mission of Project Access is to be the leading provider of human services to those that are in underserved communities – from education to health and wellness, economic stability and community building,” said Melanie Spencer, east coast director for Project Access.
Project Access is a national nonprofit that partners with Bridge on many of their multifamily properties, building a sense of community and providing supportive services and resources for residents. For one Walden Lake resident, Project Access was there when she needed them the most.
Lucia Garcia is a single mother and small business owner. When the COVID-19 pandemic shut down her nail salon, she became concerned about how she would support her son.
“I’ve always been the provider for me and my son, so it was terrifying to think that I wouldn’t even have an option to work,” Garcia said. “I realized that we have help here through Project Access right away. And all that support helped me make it through this unknown period of time until we knew that we were able to open again.”
Project Access’ on-site resident resource center helped Garcia understand the various state and federal COVID-19 relief programs that she was eligible for and worked with her to navigate the application process. In addition to connecting her with much-needed financial support, Project Access provided after-school activities and care for her son, cooking classes and on-site access to affordable, fresh food.
“I don’t think I could’ve made it through the closure if I didn’t have this community here,” said Garcia.
By investing in programs like Project Access, our partners are creating communities across the country that help families like the Garcias navigate life’s challenges while finding an authentic sense of home.
Tenant Advancement Commitments are an innovative finance option that allows our partners to do good while doing well. To date, Freddie Mac Multifamily has completed 48 of these deals with more than 14,000 units and $1.5 billion in volume.
To learn more about Freddie Mac’s commitment to supporting affordable, supportive rental housing, visit Our Mission page.