The Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 mandates that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have a ‘Duty to Serve’ three traditionally underserved markets of:

Rural Housing
Manufactured Housing
Affordable Housing Preservation
The GSEs are tasked with increasing liquidity and investment capital in these markets.

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) issued a Proposed Rule on Duty to Serve on December 15, 2015. Comments to the Rule were due on March 17, 2016.

Snapshots of Rural Data

Rural America is a vast and diverse place, with a character all its own. This page includes infographics from Rural Voices Magazine and HAC’s publications which tell a small story in data about a particular slice of rural America.

Duty to Serve Infographic

Duty to Serve in Rural America

PDF | Image

The Duty to Serve program requires the GSEs to help direct investment toward vulnerable people and places. How does that impact rural areas?

demographics infographic 2019

The Demographics of Rural America

PDF | Image

Learn a little bit more about the people of rural America who make up roughly one fifth of the US population.

cra infographic 2019

The Community Reinvestment Act in Rural America

PDF | Image

The Community Reinvestment Act (CRA), adopted in 1977, has been a boon to urban community development. How does it work in rural areas?

homeownership infographic 2019

Homeownership in Rural America

PDF | Image

Rates of homeownership in rural areas are generally higher than in urban areas, but many still face challenges.

rv-fall-2018-infogrpahic

The Digital Divide in Rural America

Broadband internet access and adoption in rural areas lags behind that of metropolitan areas.

rv-may-2018-infographic

Fair Housing in Rural America – By the Numbers

This infographic reveals trends in rural fair housing complaints as reported from HUD’s FHEO filed cases data, including a look at the number of complaints per year, geography, and the most prevalent complaints by county.

American and Alaska Native (AIAN) Communities at a Glance Infographic

American and Alaska Native (AIAN) Communities at a Glance

A look at the geographic distribution and unique mortgage lending experiences of American and Alaska Native Communities.

Ruralities: The Changing Face of Rural America

Ruralities: The Changing Face of Rural America

A set of maps demonstrate the ways rural America’s demographics and housing are changing.

The Complicated Picture of Rural Homelessness

The Complicated (& largely unknown) Picture of Rural Homelessness (Infographic)

It is often difficult to quantify the number of homeless people who live in rural areas. Here is a look at some of the information we know about this vulnerable population.

rvsummer2015-infographic Page 2

Celebrating 50 Years of helping families help themselves.(8.5″ X 11″ printable pdf)

Celebrating 50 Years of helping families help themselves.(25.5″ X 11″ original document)

Celebrate the accomplishments of USDA’s Self-Help housing program during the 50 years since its founding.

rvspring15-infographic

Mortgage Lending and Access in Rural America

Rural communities have different experiences when it comes to accessing and using mortgage markets. This infographic provides a window into some of those experiences.

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Poverty in Rural America

Approximately 45 million Americans, or 15 percent of the population, had incomes below the official poverty rate in 2012. In rural America, the poverty rate is above 17 percent with more than 10 million people living in poverty.

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The housing crisis and its wake in rural America– (Interactive Prezi)

What was the impact of the housing crisis in rural America?

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Children & Youth in Rural America – (Interactive Prezi)

aging-rural-america-map

An Aging Rural America (jpg)
MAP – A Demographic Portrait of Seniors in Rural America

FHFA Publishes Fannie Mae’s and Freddie Mac’s Duty to Serve Underserved Market Plans

Updated: December 18, 2017

FHFA Publishes Fannie Mae’s and Freddie Mac’s Duty to Serve Underserved Market Plans

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) has published Fannie Mae’s and Freddie Mac’s Underserved Markets Plans for 2018-2020 under the Duty to Serve program. The Plans become effective January 1, 2018.

Fannie Mae’s Underserved Markets Plan

Freddie Mac’s Underserved Markets Plan

HAC Comments on Duty to Serve Underserved Market Plans – July 10, 2017

The Housing Assistance Council (HAC) appreciates the opportunity to comment on Fannie Mae’s and Freddie Mac’s Duty to Serve Underserved Markets Plans for Rural Markets. As a strong advocate for the Duty to Serve provisions of the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008, HAC appreciates the time, effort, and resources FHFA, Fannie Mae, and Freddie Mac have undertaken to develop these underserved market plans. The core of HAC’s work for over four decades has been rural and underserved communities. HAC understands the complexities and difficulties of working in these communities. HAC also understands the promise and possibility of Duty to Serve to affect real and measurable change in these long overlooked and largely forgotten communities and people. We appreciate that FHFA and the Enterprises have not forgotten them, and we look forward to assisting you and the Duty to Serve effort generally to achieve its mandate to improve liquidity and access to affordable housing in underserved markets.

Given its organizational focus on rural housing, HAC focused largely on the Rural Markets component of the plans. HAC presents comments on each Enterprise’s plan separately. After the Enterprise-specific comments, HAC presents general comments and suggestions to the Enterprises and FHFA on issues of rural multifamily housing and preservation.

Read HAC’s full comments.


Fannie Mae Rural Purchase Activity, 2013-2015

dts-fannie-mae

Freddie Mac Rural Purchase Activity, 2013-2015

dts-freddie-mac


The Federal Housing Finance Agency issued a final rule to implement the Duty to Serve provisions which require Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to serve three specified underserved markets – manufactured housing, affordable housing preservation and rural housing – by improving the distribution and availability of mortgage financing in a safe and sound manner for residential properties that serve very low-, low- and moderate-income families.

Visit FHFA.gov/DTS for the press release, final rule, fact sheet, public listening session details, timeline and more.

HAC Will provide a summary of the Duty to Serve Rule soon.

Stakeholder Webinar

FHFA will provide a high-level overview of the final rule and answer stakeholder questions via webinar on Monday, Dec. 19 at 2 p.m. ET.

You may submit questions in advance by emailing DutyToServeStakeholders@FHFA.gov with “webinar question” in the subject line. Please submit your questions by COB Thursday, Dec. 15.


The Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 mandates that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have a ‘Duty to Serve’ three traditionally underserved markets of:

  • Rural Housing
  • Manufactured Housing
  • Affordable Housing Preservation

The GSEs are tasked with increasing liquidity and investment capital in these markets.

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) issued a Proposed Rule on Duty to Serve on December 15, 2015. Comments to the Rule were due on March 17, 2016.

Link to Proposed Rule sent to Federal Register

HAC Resources on Duty to Serve

HAC Comments on Proposed Duty to Serve Rule – March, 17 2016

HAC Comments on Proposed Duty to Serve Rule – July 22, 2010

HAC Comments on Duty to Serve Advanced Notice of Rule Making – September 18, 2009

HAC Webinar on Duty to Serve

The Housing Assistance Council (HAC) convened an interactive e-learning experience to assist housing providers and policymakers better understand the Duty to Serve Rule, and what it may mean for Rural America. The session was also intended to help inform comments to the Duty to Serve Rule.

Introduction | Power Point Presentation (22 MB) |Webinar Recording

Additional Resources on Duty to Serve

Interactive Map of Proposed Duty to Serve Rural Area

screen-capture-of-mapping-rural-america map

HAC’s Rural and Small Town Typology Database – Technical Documentation

Map of HAC’s Recommended Changes to FHFA Proposed Rural Area

DutyToServeMap FHFA HAC Recommended Changes

Map of GSE Loan Activity in Rural Areas

GSE Activity 2012 2014  Map

Map of FHFA Proposed Rural High-Need Areas and Persistent Poverty Counties

High Need Persistent Poverty Map

List of Suburban Tracts in FHFA Proposed Duty to Serve ‘Rural Areas’

List of Rural and Small Town Tracts Omitted From FHFA Proposed Duty to Serve ‘Rural Areas’

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Can Again Make Equity Investments in LIHTCs

Affordable rental housing development has regained two important sources of financing with the November 16, 2017 announcement by the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will be allowed limited re-entry into the Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) market as equity investors. Most of their investments, FHFA director Mel Watt said, will be used to facilitate transactions that support underserved markets and complement their Duty to Serve (DTS) requirements.

The DTS obligation requires Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to make special efforts to serve three affordable housing priorities: rural housing, affordable housing preservation, and manufactured housing. LIHTC investments can be used to construct new affordable rental housing or to preserve existing rentals.

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will be subject to an annual investment limit of $500 million each, less than a 5 percent market share for each. Within this funding cap, any investments above $300 million in a given year are required to be in areas that have been identified by FHFA as markets that have difficulty attracting investors. These investments are designed to preserve affordable housing, support mixed-income housing, provide supportive housing, or meet other affordable housing objectives.

HAC has been among the many stakeholders supporting Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s return to the LIHTC investment market.

Duty to Serve Final Rule Issued

The Federal Housing Finance Agency issued a final rule to implement the Duty to Serve provisions which require Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to serve three specified underserved markets – manufactured housing, affordable housing preservation and rural housing – by improving the distribution and availability of mortgage financing in a safe and sound manner for residential properties that serve very low-, low- and moderate-income families.

Visit FHFA.gov/DTS for the press release, final rule, fact sheet, public listening session details, timeline and more.

HAC Will provide a summary of the Duty to Serve Rule soon.

Stakeholder Webinar

FHFA will provide a high-level overview of the final rule and answer stakeholder questions via webinar on Monday, Dec. 19 at 2 p.m. ET.

You may submit questions in advance by emailing DutyToServeStakeholders@FHFA.gov with “webinar question” in the subject line. Please submit your questions by COB Thursday, Dec. 15.

Materials Posted: Duty to Serve And What it Means for Rural America (Webinar)

Materials Posted:

Introduction | Power Point Presentation (22 MB) | Webinar Recording | Mapping Utility

The Housing Assistance Council (HAC) is convening an interactive e-learning to assist housing providers and policymakers better understand the Duty to Serve Rule, and what it may mean for Rural America. The session is also intended to help inform comments to the Duty to Serve Rule.

The Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 mandates that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have a ‘Duty to Serve’ three traditionally underserved markets of:

  • Rural Housing
  • Manufactured Housing
  • Affordable Housing Preservation

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) is currently accepting comments on how to implement the Duty to Serve Rule. The Housing Assistance Council (HAC) is convening an interactive e-learning to assist housing providers and policymakers better understand the Duty to Serve Rule, and what it may mean for Rural America. The session is also intended to help inform comments to the Duty to Serve Rule.

While all three underserved markets extremely are important, this particular session will primarily focus on the Rural Housing component of Duty To Serve (but the other areas for comment will also be discussed).

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) has re-issued a proposed rule on Duty To Serve.

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) has re-issued a proposed rule on Duty To Serve. Through HERA, GSEs have a ‘duty to serve’ traditionally underserved markets of rural, preservation, and manufactured housing. Comments are due in 90 days.

Notice of Duty to Serve Comments

HAC Notice of Duty to Serve comments

The Housing Assistance Council’s comments on the notice of the Duty To Serve Underserved Markets for Enterprises; Proposed Rule. 12 CFR Part 1282, RIN 2590-AA27 are available below.

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Posted: September 18, 2009

If you have problems accessing any of the material on this page, contact Janice Clark at HAC, janice@ruralhome.org, 202-842-8600.