Mayor Marc H. Morial

Outstanding Achievement Award
The City of New Orleans and Fannie Mae "House New Orleans" Homeownership Partnership

"House New Orleans" is a partnership between Fannie Mae and the City of New Orleans to help increase homeownership and rental housing opportunities for 8,000 families through a $530 million, five-year investment strategy that uses Fannie Mae financing.

Through June 1998, Fannie Mae has invested over $321 million and assisted 4,771 families. Of this investment, 41 percent assisted low- and moderate-income families, 35 percent assisted minority home buyers, and 39 percent assisted first-time home buyers.

Fannie Mae works closely with the City and many other partners to develop products and services to expand homeownership opportunities, increase affordable multifamily housing, and raise home buyer awareness and build home buyer counseling capacity. Among the many successful initiatives that are moving New Orleans toward these goals are the following:

To expand homeownership opportunities:

  • Fannie Mae developed an employer-assisted housing program with four universities in New Orleans to encourage neighborhood revitalization and increase homeownership in the City. Over 60 families have been assisted through this program.
  • To address the substantial needs in the neighborhood targeted by the City's Division of Housing and Neighborhood Development for revitalization, Fannie Mae created a $6 million New Orleans Rehab Experiment.
  • $900,000 in equity and $500,000 in a certificate of deposit were invested under Fannie Mae's Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) initiative to support minority institutions that provide a credit to underserved communities.
  • Fannie Mae provided financing for a group home for eight men with disabilities that provides a home-like environment offering more freedom and flexibility than standard institutional living quarters.

To increase affordable multifamily housing:

  • Fannie Mae purchased $1.6 million in tax exempt bonds to help finance Malta Square, a multifamily development that provides assisted-living residences for senior citizens.
  • $1 million was invested through Fannie Mae's American Communities Fund in Venus Gardens, a mixed-use project in the Central City that includes major renovation of an existing 3-story vacant facility in the Enterprise Zone. As a partner in the project, the City provided a $600,000 grant.
  • $1.2 million was invested in the Filmore Parc Apartments, a 107-unit development that qualifies for the federal Low Income Housing Tax Credit program. The project includes major rehabilitation and will serve tenants who earn between 50 and 60 percent of the area median income.

To raise home-buyer awareness and build counseling capacity:

  • Training on issues such as credit scoring and Fannie Mae's community lending, rehab, Desktop Home Counselor and Desktop Underwriter was conducted for more than 1,000 lenders, nonprofit organizations, real estate professionals, appraisers and other housing leaders.
  • Fannie Mae software was provided, free of charge, to assist nonprofit organizations with counseling of borrowers.

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The United States Conference of Mayors

J. Thomas Cochran, Executive Director
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