As banks across the country mark American Housing Month in June, the ABA Banking Journal Podcast sat down with Michael Petrie, who leads the $4 billion Merchants Bancorp in Carmel, Ind. — one of the nation’s largest affordable housing lenders. With affordable homes accounting for 40% of the company’s originations through its bank and nonbank subsidiaries, Petrie discusses:
- How staff at Merchants’ nonprofit affiliate, which owns 2,500 affordable housing units, help developers apply for tax credits, bonds and grants. “We’ve taken developers who have never done affordable housing through a 4% tax credit, and they’re now quite successful at it,” says Petrie.
- Why Merchants employs both banks and nonbanks in its housing finance strategy — including its start as a nonbank lender that acquired a bank.
- The state of the real estate market and the challenges facing newly formed households. “Today it’s pretty tough, especially for the first-time home buyer,” he says. “There’s just not enough supply.”
- How Merchants retains a skilled workforce to support its specialized lending programs, including multifamily, single-family and warehouse lending, and develop partnerships with Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the Federal Home Loan Banks.