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Several important changes have been made to the updated Multifamily Accelerated Processing (MAP) Guide, the source used by MAP-approved lenders when originating, underwriting, and closing Federal Housing Administration (FHA) insurance on multifamily housing properties.

Many of the big changes involve environmental standards, with energy and water conservation getting its own chapter in the guide for the first time.

Previously, multifamily housing property owners could reduce their mortgage insurance premiums (MIPs) to 25 basis points if their developments obtained green building certification and demonstrated continuing energy-efficiency performance. Under the updated MAP Guide, Energy Star for existing buildings is largely eliminated as certification for Section 223(f) and 223(a7) programs, according to Dan Frink, managing director and head of third-party administration at Greystone, a leading FHA lender.

There will be a two-year grace period allowing properties less than three years old to use Energy Star Existing Building certification; however, the Statement of Energy Performance score must be a 90, formally 75, says Frink.The change is notable because Energy Star has been the preferred certification for owners. It’s been the least onerous and the most cost-effective strategy, he says.

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