Supporting Access to Affordable Housing for all Households

Capital One invests in affordable housing through its Community Finance, New Market Tax Credit and Agency Finance teams

Rising costs of living and shortages in inventory have made affordable housing increasingly challenging. Housing is affordable when a household spends no more than 30 percent of their income on housing.

According to a report by The Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies, home prices have increased nearly 19 percent year-over-year across the U.S.

The Center also shares that rents grew at a record pace in early 2022. They have increased year-over-year in all large metro markets — growing by double digits in 116 out of 150 metro markets and by more than 20 percent in 25 markets.

As a result, some renters are unable to cover the costs of essential needs, while others are struggling to save and invest in their future. Moving in search of affordable rent may result in children having to change schools, disruption of social networks and increased financial and physical stress.

“Each of us needs safe, decent, stable housing, and yet, there are still many misconceptions about affordable housing,” says Desiree Francis, Head of Community Finance at Capital One. “With home prices and rents rising, everyone is feeling the squeeze. High housing costs means that people are paying more and more of their income for housing.”

Investing in Housing Stability

Safe, affordable housing isn’t just essential for well-being. It’s also a determinant of a wide range of health outcomes and risks. According to the Insights from Housing Policy Research, affordable housing can alleviate overcrowding, reduce stress and positively impact mental health.

Capital One’s Community Finance team strives to promote individual well-being by both investing in the development of affordable housing and services that directly respond to the needs of residents including veterans, intergenerational households and those formerly experiencing homelessness.

The Community Finance team manages a $6 billion debt and investment portfolio focused on affordable rental housing. The team provides capital to finance affordable housing primarily developed through the Low Income Housing Tax Credit program in partnership with nonprofit and for profit real estate developers and local governmental agencies.

Since the team’s inception in 2007, nearly 154,000 households have benefited from units financed by Capital One, creating an estimated 177,000 jobs along the way.

In 2021 alone, Capital One’s Community Finance team lent and invested $1.84 billion in affordable housing, financed over 11,000 affordable housing units and created an estimated 14,000 jobs.

Additionally, Capital One continues to provide investments to nonprofit affordable housing developers through the Blueprints to Buildings Fund (B2B Fund) — established by Capital One in 2015.

The B2B Fund provides pre-development funds, which help to expedite the process of developing affordable housing. The funds cover a variety of development expenses incurred related to site feasibility, filing and review fees and applications for governmental financing programs.

Promoting Resident Success Through Resident Services

In addition to investing in the development and preservation of affordable housing, Capital One takes a multi-pronged approach to support on-site resident services. That includes the construction of health centers within affordable housing buildings to provide health services for residents of existing affordable housing and promoting investment partnerships between developers and the healthcare industry.

Between 2020 and 2021, Capital One provided $550,000 in grants to support the development of housing with health services.

Preserving and Creating Affordable Housing Inventory

Capital One also supports affordable housing within its Commercial Bank. Whether leveraging mission-driven agency financing in commercial real estate or New Markets Tax Credits, these teams invest in and support local communities.

Agency Finance: Government sponsored agencies continue to focus on affordable housing. As a top-10 Agency Lender by total Agency loan volume, Capital One provides financing for affordable and workforce housing developments, preserving thousands of units across the country.

“Capital One is committed to creating new affordable housing and finding innovative ways to preserve existing rental communities,” said Evan Williams, senior vice president of Agency Finance at Capital One. “There are now agency programs that incentivize borrowers to implement resident services programs and invest in upgrades that increase properties’ sustainability. Our Agency Finance team leverages deep industry expertise to ensure all agency requirements are met while generating positive impacts for the communities we serve.”

Recently, the Agency Finance team refinanced a property in Annapolis, Maryland. The loan proceeds went toward renovating unit interiors and acquiring an adjacent single-family home for a new community space. The new community space will offer resident services, which were supported by Fannie Mae’s Enhanced Resident Services program.

New Markets Tax Credits: NMTC developments can support solutions to some of the toughest challenges low-income communities face, such as employment, food accessibility, education and equity. Working with a wide range of businesses, Capital One has funded investments that help provide greater access to housing, community facilities, and commercial goods and services, in addition to creating jobs.

In 2021, Capital One financed 17 NMTC properties and injected nearly $221 million of capital in properties that serve low-income communities and their residents.

Many of Capital One’s efforts to support the development and preservation of safe and affordable housing with services comes as part of the Capital One Impact Initiative — an initial $200 million, multi-year commitment that strives to advance socioeconomic mobility. Launched in October 2020, the Capital One Impact Initiative seeks to create a world where everyone has an equal opportunity to prosper through advocating for an inclusive society, building thriving communities and creating financial tools that enrich lives.

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