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Fannie Mae to offer incentive to Charlotte companies to take rental vouchers

Renee Rallos

Charlotte is one of three cities where Fannie Mae will offer lower financing to developers and landlords of rental properties who agree to take people using vouchers.

Charlotte, Dallas and Austin, Texas, are cities where rent is rising sharply and there are no protections to prevent landlords from discriminating against renters using vouchers.

The government-backed mortgage institution has chosen these three cities for its one-year pilot program.

“It’s a way to drive greater acceptance of Housing Choice vouchers … and, with that, greater equity and opportunity,” said Fannie Mae CEO Hugh Frater.

In Charlotte, one out of five Housing Choice Vouchers, also known as section 8, expire before holders can use them, according to Inlivian, formerly the Charlotte Housing Authority.

To be eligible, the developments can’t already receive financing from other groups like Charlotte’s Housing Trust Fund, which require landlords to accept vouchers as a condition of financing. Fannie Mae will use fair housing testing to monitor borrowers’ compliance.

Fannie Mae will work most closely with Charlotte, Austin and Dallas on strategies, but the pilot extends throughout North Carolina and Texas.

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Lisa Worf traded the Midwest for Charlotte in 2006 to take a job at WFAE. She worked with public TV in Detroit and taught English in Austria before making her way to radio. Lisa graduated from University of Chicago with a bachelor’s degree in English.