The HFA was created by Ordinance No. 85-33 enacted by the Board of County Commissioners of Hillsborough County, Florida on October 9, 1985. The HFA was created for the purpose of addressing a housing shortage in the County by stimulating the construction and rehabilitation of housing through the use of public financing. The HFA is empowered to alleviate the shortage of affordable residential housing facilities and to provide capital for investment in such facilities for low, moderate or middle income families and persons anywhere within the County through the issuance of its revenue bonds.
The HFA has the authority to issue tax-exempt bonds to finance both homeownership loans to first time homebuyers, and to finance the construction and/or rehabilitation of apartments that are rented to low income persons. Both programs use intermediaries to deliver the benefit of the program to first time homebuyers and low income renters. The intermediaries are banks and mortgage companies in the case of homeownership, and developers in the case of the renters.
Overall, the HFA has financed loans for approximately 3,100 first-time homebuyers and for the construction of 4,815 rental units. An estimated 21,000 Hillsborough County residents live in housing financed by the HFA.
In a homeownership bond transaction, the HFA purchases mortgages from banks and mortgage companies that have been made to income eligible first time homebuyers who have purchased a home within an established sales price limit. In a rental bond transaction, the HFA loans bond proceeds to a developer who builds or rehabilitates apartments that will be rented to persons of restricted income at restricted rents. The HFA sells its bonds to investors who expect to be paid back. The HFA ensures that bondholders will be repaid by securing credit enhancement on the bonds, or by selling the bonds to sophisticated investors who have made their own credit risk analysis. The County is not liable for payment on the bonds.
For every $1 million bonds sold, 14.6 families have been assisted in purchasing their first home, or 25.6 families have been provided affordable rental housing. On average, both groups could be classified as low income, and almost 50% of the renters are very low income. The renters on average earn about $9,000 less per household than the homebuyers.