Applying for Capital Magnet Fund? Find High Housing Need Areas on PolicyMap


High Housing Need Areas



Find on PolicyMap

  • Federal Guidlines
    • Additional CDFI Fund Data
      • High Housing Need Areas

Financial institutions and nonprofits frequently turn to PolicyMap for New Markets Tax Credits (NMTC) eligibility, which is actually our most popular dataset aside from ACS. NMTC is only one of the incentive programs managed by the CDFI Fund, the entity within the Treasury Department that regulates and supports Community Development Financial Institutions. Since applications opened for the CDFI Fund’s Capital Magnet Fund (CMF) program on February 2nd, we have received many inquiries for High Housing Need data from our users. We are excited to announce that we have made these data available on PolicyMap, and it is free for all users.

The Capital Magnet Fund, created in 2008 through the Housing and Economic Recovery Act, aims to spur investment in affordable housing and related economic development efforts in low-income communities nationwide. CMF seeks to achieve this goal by awarding competitive grants to finance affordable housing solutions and community revitalization efforts that benefit low-income people and communities throughout the country. Funding for CMF comes from allocations made by the Government-Sponsored Enterprises, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and varies by year. CMF’s goal of attracting private capital investment to affordable housing appears to be effective; the $80 million appropriated by Congress to CMF in 2010 reportedly attracted 12 times that amount from investors, ultimately creating nearly 7,000 affordable homes and 5,700 jobs across 28 states. Projects financed using the Capital Magnet Fund are also on PolicyMap in the Housing tab.

According to the CDFI Fund, CMF applicants will be scored more favorably if they are located in areas of “High Housing Need.” A tract is defined as an area of High Housing Need if it meets one of the following three criteria: 1) at least 20 percent of households are Very Low-Income renters paying more than half their income for rent; 2) it is a high poverty neighborhood (where greater than 20 percent of households have incomes below the poverty rate) with a rental vacancy rate of at least 10 percent; or 3) it is an Underserved Rural Area.

Explore the map below to find out where tracts of High Housing Need are near your target area. These data can be found in the Federal Guidelines menu under Additional CDFI Fund Data.

The deadline for CMF applications is March 30th.  For more information about the Capital Magnet Fund, please take a look at this explanatory document by the CDFI Fund.