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Fannie Mae Launches New Resources to Further Advance Latino Homeownership

Fannie Mae announced new resources and programs to provide responsible access to housing and long-term sustainable homeownership opportunities across the country for Latino communities and further the company's mission.

Building upon Fannie Mae's HomeView launch in early 2022 and reaching over 340,000 consumers who completed the homebuyer education course, the company is unveiling HomeView en Español, a Spanish-language digital consumer education platform providing 24/7 end-to-end access to information about financial literacy and homeownership.

The course is designed for Latino consumers to leverage it on their own, or to help them plan with trusted advisors.

HomeView en Español features a new in-language credit education course with content tailored to help Latino consumers effectively build and manage their credit–a critical component to access the traditional homebuying process. Thin or insufficient credit history is a challenge disproportionately faced by Latino renters and first-time homebuyers, according to Fannie Mae's Latino Housing Journey research.

The comprehensive course, created for and written by Spanish speakers, focuses on enabling success throughout every stage of their housing journey.

HomeView en Español is:

  • Free to all upon registration, and can be accessed across desktop, mobile and tablet.
  • An interactive educational course, incorporating short quizzes and audio clips to increase information retention and support all kinds of learners.
  • Customized to address key hurdles and challenges experienced by Latino consumers establishing or maintaining their credit.

To address upfront housing costs, another housing obstacle that disproportionately impacts Latino renters and first-time homebuyers, Fannie Mae this month expanded access to its Special Purpose Credit Program (SPCP) pilot, which now can provide down-payment assistance to eligible first-time homebuyers living in majority-Latino communities located in AtlantaBaltimoreChicagoDetroitMemphis, and Philadelphia. Fannie Mae plans to further expand the program to additional cities, to include those with large Latino populations early next year.

According to The Urban Institute, 70% of net-new homeowners between 2020 and 2040 will be Hispanic/Latino, and this demographic represents one of the fastest-growing segments of potential homeowners. At the same time, Latino consumers face several obstacles along their housing journey, including lack of affordable housing supply, higher incidences of insufficient credit, and higher relative up-front housing costs.

Fannie Mae is focused on knocking down these obstacles so that historic housing disparities can be addressed, and more borrowers can equitability access affordable housing and long-term housing stability.

"We want to help people get into and stay in their homes for a long time. Down payment assistance and homeownership education can help the Latino community and achieve both goals. We will continue to work closely with the Latino community to craft solutions to the barriers Latinos face on their housing journey. We're committed to a future where everyone has fair access to sustainable housing," said Fannie Mae CEO Priscilla Almodovar.

In the last two years, Fannie Mae has introduced several innovative programs designed to help Latino, Black and other historically underserved consumers throughout their housing journey's, including:

  • Positive Rent Payment reporting that allows for a renter's on-time rental payments to be shared directly to credit bureaus and help build and improve renters' credit scores. As of June 2023, 302,000 units in rental properties have adopted the program, enabling 14,500 residents to establish a credit score. Those who have seen an increase in their score due to the program improved their score by an average of 40 points.
  • The ability for renters to make their rent count with a consistent history of making on-time rental payments to help first-time homebuyers qualify for a home loan, which is another way we're equipping lenders to provide responsible access to mortgage financing. As of Q2 2023, 4,700 applications have benefited, meaning they were eligible when otherwise they might not have been. Additionally, 42 percent of those applicants who benefitted from the enhancement identified as Black or Latino/Hispanic.
  • Enabling consumers without a credit score to be considered within the underwriting process with innovations to Fannie Mae's automated underwriting system, Desktop Underwriter (DU).

"The housing challenges faced by Latinos are real–but they are not insurmountable. With innovative thinking and committed partners, it is possible to expand housing opportunities in ways that are sustainable and responsible–both for the housing system and for homeowners. These initiatives represent the next steps on that journey," said Almodovar.

Further enhancements to HomeView, Fannie Mae's homeownership education platform are planned for 2024.

To read the full release for more information, click here.

About Author: Demetria Lester

Demetria C. Lester is a reporter for DS News and MReport magazines with more than eight years of writing experience. She has served as content coordinator and copy editor for the Los Angeles Daily News and the Orange County Register, in addition to 11 other Southern California publications. A former editor-in-chief at Northlake College and staff writer at her alma mater, the University of Texas at Arlington, she has covered events such as the Byron Nelson and Pac-12 Conferences, progressing into her freelance work with the Dallas Wings and D Magazine. Currently located in Dallas, Texas, Lester is an avid jazz lover and likes to read. She can be reached at [email protected].

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