Fitch Ratings 2022 outlook: CDSL sector maintains strong balance sheets bolstered by government support

Fitch Ratings views the community development and social lending (CDSL) sector to be stable with a neutral outlook for 2022. State Housing Finance Agencies (HFAs), socially driven lending institutions and developers are expected to continue to successfully navigate in an environment of rising barriers for affordable single family and multifamily housing. In 2021, the sector saw an increase in issuance in lending for affordable housing, to $24 billion as of October 2021 from $19 billion in 2020, and this is expected to continue in 2022.

Fitch Ratings • December 8, 2021

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Vouchers can help families afford homes, with little impact on market rents

The Housing Choice Voucher program is highly effective at helping people with low incomes afford rent, but it only reaches about 1 in 4 eligible households due to funding limitations. The Build Back Better (BBB) legislation that passed the House would add about 300,000 new vouchers, which is an important step to reduce homelessness, overcrowding, housing instability, and racial disparities in housing opportunities. Some have suggested that providing rental assistance to more families will drive up rents by increasing demand for housing or enabling landlords to overcharge, offsetting a large part of the benefit. Research on previous voucher expansions has found that vouchers have little overall impact on market rents, however, and the voucher program has safeguards that limit the amount landlords can charge.

CBPP • December 7, 2021

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Community wealth-building models: Opportunities to bolster local ownership

Property ownership is one of the most important individual wealth-building strategies, but it is one from which many are excluded. Homeownership has historically been the principal way lower, moderate, and middle income families have saved and invested. However, more than one-third of households are renters, meaning they are not building wealth through this strategy. Further, there are stark racial and ethnic disparities in the rate of homeownership. In 2021, 56 percent of Black households and 51 percent of Latinx households do not own homes compared with approximately 26 percent of white households.

The Urban Institute • December 8, 2021

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