The California Housing Finance Agency (CalHFA) has received $3.8 billion of credit support for its variable-rate debt from the U.S. Department of the Treasury through the Treasury's liquidity program for state housing finance agencies.
CalHFA says it has also received approval to sell about $1.6 billion in new bonds through the Treasury's program – bonding authority that will be used to resume lending programs for first-time home buyers and affordable multifamily housing that had largely been on hold due to disruptions in the financial markets.
"For more than a year, the disruption in the financial markets has dramatically impacted our ability to accomplish our mission – to help facilitate affordable housing for California families," says Steven Spears, acting executive director of CalHFA. "The Obama administration's efforts to provide liquidity to state housing finance agencies will allow us to play an important role at this critical time for California's real state market."
The short-term credit support provided to CalHFA's variable-rate bonds, using the Treasury's credit and liquidity support, will remove uncertainty about financing costs for the agency, and help stabilize its balance sheet, CalHFA says.
The agency expects to complete the financing of its variable-rate debt by the end of January 2010, Spears adds.
"CalHFA has, unfortunately, been forced to be on the sidelines due to the crisis in the financial markets," he says. "We are looking forward to providing needed fixed-rate, below-market mortgages to California families, as well as working with organizations that provide affordable rental housing."
CalHFA plans to introduce new 30-year, fixed rate mortgage programs for first-time home buyers early next year, in partnership with existing and additional lending partners around the state.