The multifamily mortgage market has changed dramatically over the last two decades. The relative importance of the thrifts?once the major source of financing for multifamily rental housing? has declined, while commercial banks, the government sponsored enterprises (GSEs) and private conduits have become the dominant players. Government involvement in the market has also devolved to the state and local level, and the nature of its involvement has changed. These developments have transformed a fragmented, localized mortgage market into a highly liquid one with access to capital throughout the world. While these changes have for the most been part positive, certain segments of the market?in particular, small rental properties in urban areas?may well be underserved.
“The 21st century has revalued these small geographies. That’s what the 21st century demands,” Katz said, noting that these days, “[w]e aren’t innovating in isolated business parks” in the suburbs.
Erie has long tarried with the hope that leaders would “bring jobs” to the area. Katz suggested Erie’s regeneration, after decades of devastating industrial job losses, must start locally with the creation of new businesses that grow until Erie becomes the kind of place big companies come to — not because they are lured by big government incentives — but because they have to be here in order to compete.