Fitch Rates Maryland CDA's Housing Revenue Bonds 2014 Series A 'AA+'; Outlook Stable

  Fitch Rates Maryland CDA's Housing Revenue Bonds 2014 Series A 'AA+';   Outlook Stable  Business Wire  NEW YORK -- February 6, 2014  Fitch Ratings assigns a long-term rating for the following Maryland CDA (Maryland CDA or MCDA) Housing Revenue Bonds:  --$4.25 million Maryland CDA Housing Revenue Bonds, 2014 Series A at 'AA+'.  Additionally, Fitch affirms approximately $257.4 million of Maryland CDA housing revenue bonds at 'AA+' (see full list below) out of the approximate $374.8 million (at Oct. 1, 2013) of total parity debt outstanding under the Nov. 1, 1996 general bond resolution. The difference between the outstanding bond amount and the total debt outstanding under the resolution is the debt obligations that Fitch was not asked to rate.  The Rating Outlook for the bonds is Stable.  SECURITY  The trust indenture pledges all the mortgages in the loan portfolio consisting of multifamily, single family and group homes as well as the funds pledged under the legal provisions of the resolution.  KEY RATING DRIVERS  PORTFOLIO LARGELY GUARANTEED OR PARTIALLY INSURED: As of Sept. 30, 2013, approximately 96% of the multi-family portfolio is largely guaranteed by the following entities: Ginnie Mae, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, or partially insured by FHA risk-share.  SUFFICIENT OVER-COLLATERALIZATION: On a cash flow basis, the assets under the resolution show a minimum asset parity ratio of 109% although Maryland CDA has the right to withdraw excess assets. However, by practice, Maryland CDA continues to leave sufficient over-collateralization in the indenture.  CAPABLE MANAGEMENT OVERSIGHT: Maryland CDA has demonstrated strong programmatic oversight capabilities and has had a long successful history of administering multifamily programs.  INDENTURE CONSIDERATIONS: The rating is constrained to its current level due to the fact that the issuer has the ability to withdraw excess assets and to include various types of loans other than first lien mortgages.  RATING SENSITIVITY  REMOVAL OF ASSETS: Credit risks to the housing revenue bond portfolio are somewhat remote given its federally insured portfolio and strong over-collateralization. This over-collateralization mitigates risks from its loan portfolio. However, removal of assets may present negative rating pressure.  CREDIT PROFILE  The 2014 series A bonds are the 47th series of bonds to be sold under a general bond resolution adopted on Nov. 1, 1996 and are on parity with all bonds issued previously under the indenture. The $4.25 million 2014 series A bonds will be used to finance, in part, the development known as Park View at Laurel II with credit insurance under the FHA risk-share program providing a 75/25 split on the risk of the projects.  The portfolio mainly consists of 58 multifamily residential developments which, as of Sept. 30, 2013, had an aggregate outstanding mortgage balance of $352.7 million. Additionally, the portfolio consists of single-family residences and group homes which account for $8.4 million in loans. As of Sept. 30, 2013, 96% of the portfolio was guaranteed by a governmental entity such as: Ginnie Mae (75%), Fannie Mae (3%), Freddie Mac (1%), and insured under the FHA risk-share insurance program (18%). Going forward, management expects all new projects will incorporate a 75/25 split under the FHA risk-share program. All of these governmental entities are currently linked to the U.S. sovereign rating which is currently rated 'AAA' with a Rating Watch Negative by Fitch Ratings. In addition, the Maryland Housing Fund (MHF) insures 1.5% of the loan portfolio while 0.4% remains uninsured. In addition to the 1.5% covered by MHF, the MHF is backing the risk share amount that is not covered by HUD totaling approximately $31.0 Million.  More than 43% of the multifamily units in the portfolio receive rental assistance payments under Section 8 of the U.S. Housing Act of 1937 or interest-rate subsidies under Section 236 of the National Housing Act. The remaining 57% of the units do not receive rental or interest-rate subsidies.  Credit concerns are related to the bond resolution allowing various types of loans including uninsured and second lien mortgages. These concerns are mitigated by the current loan portfolio being 96% guaranteed or insured by a U. S. government entity, management demonstrating strong programmatic oversight, and the consistent strong performance of the portfolio.  Additionally, Fitch affirms the following ratings:  --MCDA Housing Revenue Bonds, 2004 Series B, C, & D at 'AA+';  --MCDA Housing Revenue Bonds, 2005 Series A, B, & C at 'AA+';  --MCDA Housing Revenue Bonds, 2006 Series A, B, C, & D at 'AA+';  --MCDA Housing Revenue Bonds, 2007 Series A, B, & C at 'AA+';  --MCDA Housing Revenue Bonds, 2008 Series A, B, C, & D at 'AA+';  --MCDA Housing Revenue Bonds, 2009 Series A at 'AA+';  --MCDA Housing Revenue Bonds, 2012 Series A, B, & D at 'AA+;  --MCDA Housing Revenue Bonds, 2013 Series A, B, C, D, E and F at 'AA+'.  Additional information is available at 'www.fitchratings.com'.  Applicable Criteria and Related Research:  --'Rating Criteria for Pooled Multifamily Housing Bonds' (Dec. 12, 2013);  --'Revenue-Supported Rating Criteria' (June 03, 2013).  Applicable Criteria and Related Research:  Rating Criteria for Pooled Multifamily Housing Bonds  http://www.fitchratings.com/creditdesk/reports/report_frame.cfm?rpt_id=725076  Revenue-Supported Rating Criteria  http://www.fitchratings.com/creditdesk/reports/report_frame.cfm?rpt_id=709499  Additional Disclosure  Solicitation Status  http://www.fitchratings.com/gws/en/disclosure/solicitation?pr_id=819850  ALL FITCH CREDIT RATINGS ARE SUBJECT TO CERTAIN LIMITATIONS AND DISCLAIMERS. PLEASE READ THESE LIMITATIONS AND DISCLAIMERS BY FOLLOWING THIS LINK: HTTP://FITCHRATINGS.COM/UNDERSTANDINGCREDITRATINGS. IN ADDITION, RATING DEFINITIONS AND THE TERMS OF USE OF SUCH RATINGS ARE AVAILABLE ON THE AGENCY'S PUBLIC WEBSITE 'WWW.FITCHRATINGS.COM'. PUBLISHED RATINGS, CRITERIA AND METHODOLOGIES ARE AVAILABLE FROM THIS SITE AT ALL TIMES. FITCH'S CODE OF CONDUCT, CONFIDENTIALITY, CONFLICTS OF INTEREST, AFFILIATE FIREWALL, COMPLIANCE AND OTHER RELEVANT POLICIES AND PROCEDURES ARE ALSO AVAILABLE FROM THE 'CODE OF CONDUCT' SECTION OF THIS SITE. FITCH MAY HAVE PROVIDED ANOTHER PERMISSIBLE SERVICE TO THE RATED ENTITY OR ITS RELATED THIRD PARTIES. DETAILS OF THIS SERVICE FOR RATINGS FOR WHICH THE LEAD ANALYST IS BASED IN AN EU-REGISTERED ENTITY CAN BE FOUND ON THE ENTITY SUMMARY PAGE FOR THIS ISSUER ON THE FITCH WEBSITE.  Contact:  Fitch Ratings Primary Analyst Charles Giordano Senior Director 1-212-908-0607 Fitch Ratings, Inc. One State Street Plaza New York, NY 10004 or Secondary Analyst Ryan J. Pami Analyst 1-212-908-0803 or Committee Chairperson Maura McGuigan Senior Director 1-212-908-0591 or Media Relations: Elizabeth Fogerty, +1-212-908-0526 (New York) elizabeth.fogerty@fitchratings.com