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Affordable Housing Preservation FAQ


  1. What is affordable housing preservation?

    Preservation of affordable homeownership entails ensuring that the price of a home is affordable to the initial buyer and subsequent buyers over a long-term period, whether purchasing a newly constructed home or an existing home. Additionally, preserving affordable housing can also be achieved by reducing housing costs through utility savings, and through energy efficiency home improvements.

  2. What are Freddie Mac's Single-Family Duty to Serve activities for affordable housing preservation?

    Through our Duty to Serve initiatives, we are:

    • Facilitating financing of energy and water efficiency improvements through first lien mortgages
    • Facilitating new mortgage originations for properties in community land trusts and other shared equity programs
    • Developing and delivering an appraisal curriculum for properties in a Community Land Trust in conjunction with a trade organization
    • Conducting a census of non-profit shared equity programs that meet the Duty to Serve definition for shared equity homeownership
    • Creating a CLT program directory available on
    • Creating efficiency for lenders when reviewing a CLT ground lease, by permitting a Freddie Mac approved CLT certification program in lieu of the ground lease review
    • Providing borrower education and resources for lenders about Freddie Mac shared equity offering and energy and water efficiency financing options

Shared Equity (CLTs and Resale Restrictions)

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  1. What is a community land trust?

    CLTs are typically established and managed by non-profits, state or local governments or instrumentalities that provide permanently affordable housing opportunities. They typically acquire land by purchasing it or receiving it via in-kind donations, or via state/local agencies.

    Under the CLT model, the CLT owns a tract of land and leases individual lots or parcels at below market rents to very low-, low- and moderate-income homebuyers under a long-term ground lease. The ground lease is a legal document that contains certain land use and other restrictions, such as those limiting occupancy, resale price, and financing, that ensure the continued use of the property for very low-, low- and moderate-income households. Then, the CLT sells the improvements on the land (the house) to borrowers at below market rates. Borrowers finance the purchase of the home that is on the land through a first lien mortgage.

  2. What is an income-based resale-restricted program?

    An income-based resale-restricted program is a type of deed-restriction program. It creates and preserves affordable housing for borrowers with low and moderate incomes through resale restrictions included in a deed covenant that runs with the property. These programs restrict the sales price of properties for initial and subsequent borrowers. The restrictions are typically imposed by nonprofits, state and local governments or municipalities, and are set forth in and enforced through a recorded deed covenant.

    Income-based resale restricted programs typically have every new homeowner sign a new deed covenant with a new term. That way, the home's affordability is preserved and serves subsequent low- or moderate-income homebuyers.

  3. What restrictions must a borrower agree to for community land trust or resale restriction shared equity programs?

    Restrictions vary by program. Generally, borrowers must agree to the following restrictions for CLT and resale restricted programs:

    • Sales price: Program prescribes limits on resale price of the property for initial and subsequent buyers.
    • Occupancy: Most programs will require that the property be a primary home, owner-occupied home.
    • Financing: The program will review any first or secondary financing that the borrower may obtain.
    • Allowable property improvements: The program will review any property improvements that the borrower may want to make on the property.
  4. What are Freddie Mac's appraisal requirements for properties securing CLT Mortgages?

    Freddie Mac recognizes that CLTs typically subsidize the sales price of the property. As a result, the price paid may be significantly less than the market value of the property rights being appraised. Finally, the resale restrictions in place would terminate per the terms of the CLT Ground Lease Rider upon foreclosure (including expiration of any applicable redemption period) or recordation of a deed-in-lieu of foreclosure. Therefore, Freddie Mac requires the opinion of value for the leasehold interest must be developed based on the hypothetical condition that the property right being appraised is the leasehold interest without the resale and other restrictions included in the ground lease.

    For complete information on our appraisal requirements for CLT mortgages, please review Guide Section 4502.8.

  5. What are Freddie Mac's appraisal guidelines for properties with income-based resale restrictions?

    The appraisal report must note the existence of the resale restriction and analyze and reflect on any impact of the resale restrictions on the property value and marketability.

    • Resale restriction survives foreclosure or recordation of deed-in-lieu of foreclosure. In the instance where the resale restriction survives foreclosure or recordation of a deed-in-lieu of foreclosure, the appraisal must reflect the impact the restrictions have on value and be supported by comparable sales with similar restrictions.
    • Resale restriction terminates upon foreclosure (or expiration of any applicable redemption period) or recordation of a deed-in-lieu of foreclosure. In instances where the resale restriction terminates upon foreclosure or recordation of a deed-in-lieu of foreclosure, the appraisal should reflect the market value of the property without resale restrictions.
  6. What do you mean by a resale formula?

    A resale formula establishes an upper limit on the price for which a CLT home or a property with resale restrictions may be resold.) The resale formula is reflected in the CLT’s ground lease or applicable deed covenant and applied consistently to each home upon resale. The resale formula will affect the specific rights and obligations of both the CLT and its many homeowners for generations to come. Additionally, resale formulas are used to set prices of homes sold under affordable housing preservation programs that use deed covenants to preserve affordability over time.

  7. Does Freddie Mac require a CLT Ground Lease Rider and what is its purpose?

    Freddie Mac requires Form 490, Freddie Mac Ground Lease Rider, be executed and recorded with the county records. Retain a copy of the executed form in the loan file. The CLT Ground Lease Rider help lenders manage default risk and provide greater opportunities for CLT organizations to preserve affordable housing units in their inventory, even in default events. It:

    • Helps the CLT exercise its right to cure the delinquency.
    • Provides time for the CLT to help homeowners in default avoid foreclosure by delaying foreclosure referral by 60 days when a CLT has indicated it is actively working with the homeowner to resolve the default.
  8. Why does Freddie Mac allow cash-out refinance transactions for CLT mortgages?

    Homeowners who have built equity in their homes sometimes need to use their home equity to finance capital improvements or home repairs, or to restructure personal debt, or other purposes.

    Under the ground lease, any refinance transaction must be reviewed and approved by the CLT or its authorized representative. When a homeowner requests a cash-out refinance, the CLT completes a calculation to estimate how much equity is available to the homeowner and evaluates the reason for the transaction. Each CLT has specific requirements for refinance transactions, and Freddie Mac requires that any refinance of a CLT mortgage meet not only the requirements of Chapter 4301, but also the applicable requirements of the CLT.

    Generally, CLT’s will evaluate whether the transaction is not in the best financial interest of the borrower and may decide not to approve it. Most capital improvements or home repairs, however, align with the spirit of preserving affordable housing over time by ensuring the property is maintained and remains in good condition for future buyers. Based on our research, we understand that many affordable housing units being sold under the CLT model are aging and will soon need repairs that homeowners may not be able to afford, unless they use their home equity.

  9. Are manufactured homes securing CLT mortgages eligible for sale to Freddie Mac?

    Currently, CLT mortgages secured by manufactured homes are not eligible for sale to Freddie Mac unless the manufactured home is a CHOICEHome; however, we do offer a variety of manufactured home financing options, including Home Possible. To provide borrowers with more affordable housing options, we allow lenders to sell CLT mortgages secured by CHOICEHome manufactured homes.

  10. Can we sell CLT mortgages originated by Brokers/Correspondents?

    Community Land Trust mortgages originated by Brokers/Correspondents are eligible for purchase. Freddie Mac recommends that Brokers/Correspondents complete the Freddie Mac CLT mortgage training.

  11. Which documents from the CLT provider must the lender review?

    Sellers must review the Community Land Trust Ground Lease and verify that it meets the Freddie Mac eligibility requirements in Guide Section 4502.10.

  12. Does Freddie Mac require a Ground Lease Rider?

    Freddie Mac developed Form 490, Community Land Trust Ground Lease Rider, that must be completed, executed and recorded in the land records, together with the Community Land Trust Ground Lease.

  13. How can I learn more about CLT mortgages?

    To learn more, visit our CLT mortgages product page.

Model Declaration

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  1. What is the “Model Declaration” and what is it used for?

    The Model Declaration is comprised of the 2021 Model Declaration of Affordability Covenants with Refinance and Resale Restriction and Purchase Option, the Commentary to the Model Declaration and the Model Subordinate Mortgage. Collectively they are referred to as the “Model Declaration.” It was developed to promote best practices and standardization for deed restricted affordable housing programs, while also providing flexibility in program design.

    The Model Declaration is intended to be used by shared equity homeownership programs (affordable housing programs managed by a government agency or nonprofit that are designed to keep properties permanently affordable be restricting resale prices) by providing an alternative to the 2011 Model Ground Lease. The Model Declaration will allow for more standardization for shared equity programs that use deed covenants or deed restrictions in lieu of a ground lease.

  2. Where did the Model Declaration originate?

    The Model Declaration was developed by Grounded Solutions Network with additional guidance from an Inclusionary Housing Advisory Group. Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae provided advice and recommendations in an effort to align the Model Declaration with our Guide and offerings.

  3. What changes can be made to the Model Declaration?

    The Model Declaration is accompanied by a Commentary on the 2021 Model Declaration of Affordability Covenants that provides detail regarding the provisions of the Model Declaration, and identifies limited areas where customization is permitted. Sellers should be familiar with the Commentary when evaluating the programs forms. No additional customization is permitted.

  4. Must we ensure that affordable housing programs use subordinate mortgages matching the Model Subordinate Mortgage?


  5. Can we accept a title insurance policy that contains an exception for the Model Declaration?

    A list of permissible exceptions to coverage of a title insurance policy delivered with a mortgage loan to Freddie Mac can be found in Section 4702.4. Exception (d) permits an exception for restrictive agreements and restrictive covenants if:

    • Restrictive agreements or restrictive covenants do not create or provide for any lien that would be prior to the lien of the Home Mortgage nor provide for the elimination of the lien of the Home Mortgage.
    • The terms and provisions of the restrictive agreements or restrictive covenants are commonly acceptable to private institutional Mortgage investors in the area where the Mortgaged Premises are located.
    • An endorsement to the title insurance policy affirmatively insures that no violation of any such restrictive agreement or restrictive covenant exists and that any future violation shall not result in forfeiture or reversion of title.


    Mortgages originated with the Model Declaration should meet all these requirements and, therefore, a policy which excepts them from coverage is acceptable.


  6. Are there specific delivery instructions for Mortgages that use the Model Declaration?

    All mortgages on properties with income-based deed restrictions must follow the delivery instructions found in Guide Section 6302.37.

  7. How does the Model Declaration help lenders working with shared equity programs?

    The Model Declaration helps:

    • To streamline lenders’ review process for the deed restriction covenant and the Affordable Seconds® financing option (if applicable)
    • Lenders underwrite the shared equity program eligibility more easily when they adopt the model documents
    • Provide clarity to homebuyers on their rights and responsibilities as a shared equity program participant