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U.S. launches green refinance program to support affordable rental houses

06-01-2011 09:38 BJT

WASHINGTON, May 31 (Xinhua) -- U.S. Housing and Urban Development Department (HUD) launched Green Refinance Plus on Tuesday, a program to help owners of existing affordable rental housing properties to refinance into new mortgages and get additional funding for energy-efficient upgrades.

Under the program, HUD's Federal Housing Administration (FHA) and Fannie Mae, the leading mortgage lender, will share the risk on loans to refinance existing rent-restricted projects while permitting owners to borrow additional funds to make energy-saving improvements to their properties.

Approximately every 10-to-15 years, owners of existing multifamily affordable properties typically refinance their mortgages. In older apartment buildings, however, owners are hard- pressed to find additional financing to maintain or improve the physical condition of their properties, including making energy- efficient upgrades.

Fannie Mae and HUD anticipate approximately 100 million U.S. dollars in initial refinance volume. As required by the program, properties must be at least 10 years old, with a recorded use agreement of the affordability restrictions that extends for at least the term of the new loan to help preserve affordable housing, said the HUD.

"This program kills two birds with one stone -- it preserves our affordable rental stock and it helps finance upgrades that will save energy and money over the long haul," said U.S. HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan.

In next month, Fannie Mae and its participating lenders will begin accepting applications to refinance owners' debt as well as improve the energy efficiency of their properties, added the HUD.

Editor:Yang Jie |Source: Xinhua

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