It may not feel much like Spring, at least in the Northeastern U.S., but there are plenty of green shoots in the securitization market.
On March 15, the Western Riverside Council of Governments in California sold the first securities backed by assessments on homes that have benefitted from energy efficient upgrades. The $104 million deal, while small, is nevertheless notable because it was completed despite the threat of a legal challenge from the Federal Housing Finance Agency, which objects to the senior lien that this financing creates. Most Property Assessed Clean Energy, or PACE, programs around the country were suspended four years ago, when the FHFA ordered Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to stop buying mortgages on properties with PACE assessments. But not in California, where local governments continue to roll out new programs. Securitization may help accelerate this lending.