The report refers to the affordable rental housing building boom that took place in the 1960s and 70s. The loans used to finance many of these properties had 40-year terms, during which all or a portion of the units were reserved for lower-income tenants. Once these loans are paid off, property owners are no longer obligated to maintain affordability, and could convert to market rents.
To be sure, the potential of expiring affordability at thousands of apartments in Massachusetts is cause for concern. But it's nothing we haven't seen before.
Since 1991, MassHousing has committed more than $1.5 billion in refinance loans to 230 properties. Doing so extended the commitment to affordability for nearly 30,000 apartments and allowed property owners to make needed upgrades, renovations and repairs. We've developed programs to address each of the many subsidy programs used to finance these properties, all without the use of taxpayer dollars.
Since 2008, most of our Rental Lending Division's loans have been directed toward expiring use refinancings, which we expect to increase substantially in the coming years. Our focus is on developments we financed, and on the federally funded ones we oversee; we've already created and implemented a program specifically for the latter. We're confident that through innovative programs, expertise on staff and business partners committed to providing quality affordable housing, we are up to the challenge presented by the Year-40 Problem.