Clarence Harmon

Best Practice Recognition
The City of St. Louis and Fannie Mae
HouseSt. Louis

Building on the success of programs like HouseHouston, Fannie Mae has worked with other American cities to help meet their family housing needs. The hallmark of its approach has been neighborhood involvement and education working alongside innovative financing solutions. In St. Louis, Mayor Clarence Harmon, civic leaders, and Fannie Mae have cooperatively launched a $275 million, five-year investment program to help increase home ownership and rental housing opportunities for 6,000 families. The partnership falls into the following three categories:

  • Expanding Homeownership Opportunities. Under this category, Fannie Mae has: developed employer-assisted housing programs with four area businesses; addressed the needs of St. Louis’ historic neighborhoods through the creation of a $5 million line of affordable rehabilitation financing products; helped over 1,000 middle-income homebuyers with a special down payment assistance program; and supported the Gateway National Bank—the only African American-owned bank in the state of Missouri—in its efforts to provide credit to underserved communities.

  • Increasing Multifamily Affordable Housing. Under this category, Fannie Mae has worked directly with numerous apartment complexes to provide affordable rental housing. For example, it has provided over $8 million in financing to a 548-unit senior citizens apartment complex and over $3 million to a single-room occupancy development that provides affordable housing for over 235 very low-income residents. To promote affordable multi-family housing region-wide, Fannie Mae has invested over $2.6 million in the St. Louis Equity Fund.

  • Raising Homeowner Awareness and Building Counseling Capacity. Under this category, Fannie Mae has: organized the Gateway to Homeownership Counseling Collaborative to help homebuyer counselors better help their clients; teamed with the St. Louis Library System to place "homeownership centers" in five library branches; and conducted training on issues such as credit scoring for lenders, nonprofit organizations, real estate professionals, appraisers and other housing lenders.

Fannie Mae and the City of St. Louis are working with city agencies like the city library system and local companies like the Gateway National Bank in search of better housing solutions. By September 1999, their combined efforts had channeled over $260 million into new investments for low and middle-income buyers and seniors. Increasing homeownership, so important to families and city tax bases, has become possible for 5,200 additional families because of HouseSt. Louis.  

For more information, please contact:

Clifton D. Berry, Director
St. Louis Partnership Office
Fannie Mae
701 Market Street, Suite 350
St. Louis, MO 63101
Telephone: (314) 421-6444
Fax: (314) 421-6288

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