Homeownership is an unfilled dream for many. Washington based District of Columbia Housing Finance Agency (DCHFA) aims to reverse it.
Established in 1979, DCHFA is a financial intermediary that offers affordable housing programs and resources for the District of Columbia. Falling under the jurisdiction of the government of the District of Columbia, it has revolutionized the affordable housing sector.
“District of Columbia Housing Finance Agency (DCHFA) is an S&P A + rated issuer, serving Washington, D.C.’s residents for more than 40 years,” says Christopher E. Donald, DCHFA, Interim Executive Director.
“At DCHFA, we make owning a home both affordable and attainable. With various programs and products available, we try to help as many District residents who want to become homeowners achieve that goal.”
To lower the developer’s costs of acquiring, constructing, and rehabilitating rental housing DCHFA issues tax-exempt mortgage revenue bonds. It offers private for-profit and non-profit developers a low-cost predevelopment, construction, and permanent financing option that supports the new construction, acquisition, and rehabilitation of affordable rental housing in the District. By investing in affordable housing and neighborhood development, it provides different pathways for D.C. residents to own their dream home. From offering the most efficient and effective capital sources, to finance rental housing and creating homeownership opportunities, DCHFA has played a key role in the advancement of the District of Columbia’s housing sector.
Committed to helping people from different financial backgrounds achieve their goal of owning a house, DCHFA has developed various customized programs. Through its DC Open Doors mortgage loan programs, down payment assistance loans, the Mortgage Credit Certificate program, and many other such programs, DCHFA has been trying to make homeownership more affordable. In addition, DCHFA focuses on the importance of helping District residents retain their status as homeowners by providing foreclosure prevention through the Reverse Mortgage Insurance & Tax Payment Program (ReMIT) and DC MAP (Mortgage Assistance Program).
“At DCHFA, we make owning a home both affordable and attainable. With various programs and products available, we try to help as many District residents who want to become homeowners achieve that goal,” says Christopher E. Donald, DCHFA Interim Executive Director.
DCHFA serves both consumers and businesses. Having navigated the highs and lows of the economy and competition from institutions offering similar services. Keeping that in mind, DCHFA’s homeownership programs are specially designed to help middle- and lower-income buyers with high credit scores and income who have difficulties saving money for a down payment. Today, DCHFA is the only HUD Level I 50/50 Risk Share lender in Washington, D.C.
“Our vision is to be the District of Columbia’s principal catalyst for housing finance and neighborhood investment.”
Work culture at DCHFA
Work culture is said to be the backbone of every organization. Having a clear understanding of the wonders good work culture can do, DCHFA has inculcated a collaborative team like culture. The company’s culture has been instrumental in accomplishing its goals. By allowing people to express their ideas and concerns, it not only makes them feel valued but also enables them to take ownership and feel passionate about their work. In 2018 DCHFA established a company-wide set of values:
Giving back to society
To help District homeowners avoid mortgage delinquency in 2019 DCHFA launched a $9 million program. The DC MAP (Mortgage Assistance Program) was originally created to provide mortgage assistance for District homeowners who worked for the federal government and were furloughed during the partial government shutdown. DCHFA relaunched this program in August 2020 to provide mortgage relief to Washington, D.C. residents who have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
True to its values and mission, to construct affordable housing for the District’s workforce, DCHFA’s Housing Investment Platform’s Single Family Investment Fund has partnered with emerging local developers. To fulfill its responsibility towards senior citizens, DCHFA recently funded the construction of 157 affordable apartments at The Residences at Kenilworth Park. These apartments will be reserved for seniors age 60 and up earning up to 60 percent of the area median income (AMI). The Residences at Kenilworth Park will be the first assisted living community in D.C.’s Ward 7.
Rising to the pandemic challenge
Even in these difficult times, DCHFA has taken some bold decisions to combat the economic effects of the coronavirus. With millions of people laid off and many receiving salary cuts, the future seems uncertain. For homeowners needing financial assistance to keep their home, DCHFA relaunched the DC Mortgage Assistance Program which provides mortgage loan assistance to D.C. homeowners impacted by the effects of COVID-19. Qualified borrowers may receive a loan of up to $5,000 monthly toward their mortgage for up to six months.
“Our vision is to be the District of Columbia’s principal catalyst for housing finance and neighborhood investment,” shares Christopher E. Donald, DCHFA Interim Executive Director.
Committed to its mission and vision, DCHFA has been doing and will continue to do everything it takes to get more Washingtonians into homes of their own. From offering affordable homes to people from the middle class, to financing special homes for senior citizens, DCHFA has displayed exemplary leadership in the affordable homes sector.