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News Release 2008-51 | May 1, 2008

Preserving Affordable Multifamily Rental Housing: How Banks Help Sustain the Nation's Supply of Affordable Rental Housing

WASHINGTON — The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) today released the Spring 2008 edition of Community Developments focusing on the preservation of affordable rental housing.

"Banks working with specialized partners in viable local markets can stem the loss of affordable multifamily units and help maintain housing that is essential to the well-being of our nation’s communities," said Comptroller of the Currency John C. Dugan. "If positioned correctly, banks can help meet the nation’s growing need for affordable shelter while making safe, sound, and cost effective investments in their communities."

This issue of Community Developments features an overview of the challenges facing the nation’s affordable multifamily rental housing inventory by Michael Bodaken, president of the National Housing Trust. An article by Debra Schwartz of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation describes how a variety of public, private and nonprofit initiatives have addressed these challenges. This issue also highlights the specific activities and investments of selected national banks, nonprofit organizations and state and local government agencies in supporting the preservation of affordable multifamily rental housing.

National banks often invest in the preservation of affordable multifamily rental housing under the "Part 24" public welfare investment authority which encourages bank equity investments in activities that primarily promote the public welfare in a safe and sound manner. They may also receive positive CRA consideration for these investments.

Community Developments can be accessed on OCC's Internet site.

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