TARP Money Not Likely to Help Multifamily

By Anuradha Kher, Online News EditorWashington, D.C.–President George W. Bush, urged by President-elect Barack Obama, plans to formally ask a reluctant Congress to release the second half of the Treasury’s $700 billion financial system bailout fund. Obama asked President Bush to formally notify Congress, on his behalf, of his intent to exercise the authority under the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act to access the $350 billion in funding for Treasury programs addressing the financial crisis.MHN asked Denise Muha, executive director of National Leased Housing Association, whether any portion of this money will be allotted toward solving the housing crisis and perhaps helping multifamily housing in some way. “All the $350 billion is TARP (Troubled Assets Relief Program) money but there are no specifics on it yet. They are trying to improve the Hope for Homeownership program or are looking to adopt a model suggested by the FDIC, which will lower mortgage rates for people who can no longer afford their loans. Either way, the intention seems to be to help the single-family sector,” explains Muha.She is more positive about the stimulus bill, which will be a couple of trillion dollars and will include help for housing and HUD programs, apart from other provisions. “There is talk that the stimulus package will have money for gap financing for tax credits projects, for energy retrofitting and probably a way for the treasury to buy tax credits till there are enough buyers. There could also be an increase in the number of vouchers issued every year,” explains Muha.The Democrats sent to the house an outline of this plan with a big amount allocated to affordable housing and multifamily housing, according to Muha.