CHICAGO – The Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA), the state’s housing finance agency, today announced Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services has upgraded its credit rating. S&P cited IHDA’s financial strength and strong management practices in raising the credit rating to AA- from A+.
S&P also revised the outlook on the issuer credit rating (ICR) to stable from positive, and renewed the stable outlook on IHDA’s outstanding debt. In addition, S&P affirmed its AA long-term with a stable outlook and underlying ratings on the authority’s outstanding Homeowner Mortgage Revenue Bonds (MRB) program, and multifamily housing bonds program.
“This upgrade demonstrates how IHDA’s affordable housing programs and policies under Governor Pat Quinn have worked to advance Illinois’ economy, create jobs and stabilize communities,” IHDA Executive Director Mary R. Kenney said. “The housing recovery has made important progress in Illinois, with home starts, sales and prices all rising as foreclosure rates drop. The economic strength of our state and local communities is founded on our families’ ability to affordably access safe, stable housing, and IHDA supports the economy in a way few other lenders are able to match.”
This upgrade will enable IHDA to access capital at a lower cost and transfer the savings to allow homeowners and developers to reap the benefit of lower interest rates. IHDA offers a portfolio of affordable mortgage products, and provides financing to developers of quality multifamily rental apartments.
Standard & Poor’s said its rating “continues to reflect its view of the authority’s overall financial strength, the quality of its loan and investment portfolios, continuing state support of the authority’s essential core mission, and a capable management team that has been relatively conservative in its financial management practices and approach to risk management.”
The upgrade is the latest sign that a housing rebound is well underway in Illinois.
Building permits for new Illinois single-family and multifamily housing are up 20 percent through July from last year in the latest National Association of Home Builders’ report. Illinois home sales surged 28.5 percent from July 2012 to July 2013, according to the Illinois Association of Realtors. Thanks in large part to the state’s foreclosure prevention efforts, CoreLogic found properties in foreclosure statewide have dropped to 71,326, a 28.8 percent year-over-year decrease, and the trend continues in the right direction.
As S&P noted in its report, strong state support has contributed to IHDA’s financial strength. Governor Quinn’s leadership on affordable housing includes his historic commitment of $130 million in state capital funds to create more affordable housing opportunities. Other accomplishments of the Quinn Administration to help spur affordable housing homeownership and multifamily rental development include:
Proclaimed 2013 as the Year of Homeownership
- Launched four new safe and affordable mortgage programs since 2011. IHDA’s mortgages
have lower credit score requirements, provide cash for down payment assistance and require homeownership counseling;
· Tripled the number of communities offering the Illinois Building Blocks program, a holistic strategy to address the foreclosure and vacancy issue in targeted communities. Buyers of vacant homes in the following 15 communities can qualify for a fixed-rate 30-year loan and $10,000 in down payment: Belleville, Berwyn, Blue Island, Champaign, Chicago Heights, Cicero, Crest Hill, Joliet, Lockport, Lynwood, Maywood, Melrose Park, Park Forest, Peoria and South Holland;
· Increased affordable housing opportunities - Since 2009, 10,300 working families have been able to purchase a home affordably, and 18,300 affordable rental units were created or preserved. In 2012, IHDA helped more than 2,700 working families access $308 million in capital to purchase a home. This represents an 80 percent increase over production in 2011 and a 770 percent increase over 2010.
About the Illinois Housing Development Authority
IHDA (www.ihda.org) is a self-supporting state agency that finances the creation and the preservation of affordable housing across Illinois. Since its creation in 1967, IHDA has allocated more than $11.6 billion and financed approximately 225,000 affordable units across the state.