Fannie Mae stepping up and going green

The mortgage-finance company Fannie Mae is rolling out a program this year that lets lenders include income from non-borrowers within a household toward qualifying for a loan.

The move is expected to open up mortgage access to a segment of the population that doesn’t fit the typical family structure, such as multigenerational households and homes that include extended family. Open only to low-income borrowers or those living in low-income or minority-dominated areas, the program will also allow borrowers not living in the home to contribute income in some cases.

Also in the works from Fannie Mae is their new Green Initiative, a financing tool announced in February that provides a break for multi-family homes with recognized green building certification, an encouraging sign that sustainable building practices aren’t just better for the Earth, but also better for the bottom line.

In the works for five years, the Green Initiative is the first program in the US market that has figured out how to recognize, asset manage, and securitize green building loans.

Edited and revised WSJ & GB&D