U.S. Bank has provided construction financing for Abode Communities’ Adams Terrace Senior Apartments in Los Angeles. Courtesy Abode Communities Architecture

While the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting economic downturn ravaged the U.S. last year, the nation’s affordability crisis and the need for safe and affordable housing were boosted even further into the spotlight. Amid the uncertainty, lending volume remained strong for affordable housing, buoyed by historically low interest rates as well as support from Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

“COVID-19 has impacted nearly every industry, and, with housing, it has brought additional light to the recognized need for more affordable housing,” says Rob Likes, national manager of Community Development Lending & Investment at KeyBank Real Estate Capital. “We made the decision to continue lending both on our balance sheet and in government-sponsored enterprise capital markets through 2020 at an increased level from previous years, understanding that the pandemic would only intensify the need for the most vulnerable.”

Affordable Housing Finance’s Top 25 affordable housing lenders provided over $53.6 billion in permanent and construction loans to developments that serve households up to 80% of the area median income (AMI) in 2020. This is up from the AHF Top 25 lenders’ $41 billion in 2019 and $35.2 billion in 2018.

Citi Community Capital retains the No. 1 position on the lender list, having lent just over $7 billion to affordable housing properties last year. This is almost a billion dollars more than in 2019.

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