The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) today announced enhancements to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s (the Enterprises) multifamily radon standards. The Enterprises’ aligned radon standards will require additional radon testing for multifamily properties with loan applications received after June 30, 2023.
“The Enterprises’ adoption of enhanced radon testing requirements during National Radon Action Month will help ensure that multifamily properties with hazardous levels of radon are more accurately identified and properly mitigated,” said Director Sandra L. Thompson. “FHFA and the Enterprises are committed to providing safe and sustainable housing opportunities for renters, while ensuring a strong and liquid multifamily mortgage market.”
Enhancements to these radon standards will require testing at Enterprise-backed multifamily properties, regardless of where the property is located (subject to some exceptions and deferrals), in addition to:
- Increasing the amount of required testing from 10 percent of ground floor units to 25 percent of ground floor units;
- Requiring an environmental professional to oversee radon testing;
- Requiring the environmental professional or property representative to notify tenants of radon testing; and
- Providing additional guidance for lenders and environmental consultants on the Enterprises’ radon standards. As part of such guidance, the Enterprises will reinforce the need for compliance with state and local radon laws.
The Enterprises will also collaborate with housing providers, radon industry stakeholders, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to encourage better radon data collection at multifamily properties.
FHFA and the Enterprises’ joint determination to enhance Enterprise radon standards is the result of extensive research and stakeholder outreach, including a 2021 listening session with over 485 participating stakeholders. That listening session identified opportunities and challenges to address radon exposure at Fannie Mae- and Freddie Mac-backed multifamily properties and improve radon data collection.
FHFA will continue to monitor the multifamily mortgage market and will coordinate with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in its continuing efforts to address radon. Further adjustments may be warranted based on results from an evaluation of the Enterprises’ radon testing standards to ensure they are comprehensive, data informed, fully understood by property owners, and properly implemented and enforced.