In 2010, just as property-assessed clean energy (PACE) programs were hitting their stride, federal housing regulators issued a ruling that devastated advocates.
That’s when the Federal Housing Finance Agency told government-backed housing lenders Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac they couldn’t underwrite mortgages for people interested in taking advantage of the financing option, which allows homeowners to finance solar and efficiency upgrades through property taxes over twenty years. The agency argued that the program was risky for lenders because PACE liens took precedence over a mortgage in the event of a default.
Consequently, the bulk of PACE financing shifted over to the commercial market. But the residential market didn’t completely die as some predicted.
Ygrene, one of the nation’s largest administrators of PACE programs, is proving that residential demand can continue to grow — as long as homeowners are well educated about the nuances of the loans they are taking on. Read more.