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DART – Let's Go.

DART News Release

Media Relations Contact:

Cari Kaye
Fannie Mae
Terrie Monroe
City of Plano
Morgan Lyons

October 15, 2004

U.S. Representative Sam Johnson, DART, The City of Plano, and Fannie Mae Announce Smart Commute™ Initiative; New Incentives Help Plano Home Buyers Purchase Homes Near Public Transportation

Downtown Plano Station
Downtown Plano Station
PLANO, TX - Plano residents now have an additional financial incentive to purchase a home near public transportation. U.S. Representative Sam Johnson (R-TX) today joined representatives from Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART), the city of Plano, local lenders, and Fannie Mae (FNM/NYSE), the nation's largest source of financing for home mortgages, to launch the Smart Commute™ Initiative, which gives potential home buyers who live within one-half mile of the DART rail, or one-fourth mile from a DART bus stop within the targeted Plano area the opportunity to qualify for a mortgage that recognizes the potential cost savings available to users of public transit, and allows qualified buyers to convert that savings into additional borrowing power for a home mortgage. The targeted area boundaries are Parker Road on the north, Central Expressway on the west, Shiloh Road on the east and Plano Parkway on the south.

"Transportation costs are the second largest expense for most households, after rent or mortgage expenses," said Rep. Johnson. "For many families, car payments, maintenance, and fuel total almost one-third of household expenses. Smart Commute will help families own their own homes and have more money in their pockets."

The Smart Commute Initiative allows the lender partners -- Community Credit Union, Countrywide Home Loans, and Jefferson Mortgage Services, Inc. -- to add $200 to the monthly qualifying income of a single wage-earner household, and $250 monthly for a two wage-earner household. This additional income represents a portion of the savings the borrower should realize from using public transportation. There is no income limit to qualify, but all borrowers must meet credit parameters and must also certify that they own no more than two vehicles. The initiative also offers low down payments for borrowers in all income groups and may require as little as $500 down.

"DART is proud to participate in this initiative to promote homeownership in neighborhoods near our stations and to encourage similar transit oriented developments throughout our service area," said Robert Pope, former chairman and Plano representative to the DART Board of Directors.

"We are excited about offering the Smart Commute Initiative, a creative solution to increase homeownership opportunities, and promote the use of public transportation," said Pat Evans, mayor of Plano. "The City of Plano is proud to be the first city in the Dallas/Fort Worth area to offer this benefit to its citizens. It promotes homeownership, public transportation and energy conservation."

Community Credit Union, Countrywide Home Loans, and Jefferson Mortgage Services, Inc. will originate mortgages under the initiative, and Fannie Mae will purchase the eligible loans. Fannie Mae has allocated $2.5 million for the purchase of eligible loans to low- to moderate-income borrowers.

Fannie Mae's Smart Commute Initiative supports the new goals of the company's American Dream Commitment� to tackle the toughest housing challenges facing America and to expand the supply of affordable housing where it is needed most.

"Our mission is to help break down barriers to homeownership by lowering costs," said Mike Hernandez, vice president of Fannie Mae's Southwest Regional Office in Dallas. "By offering the Smart Commute Initiative, we are helping to make homeownership more affordable so families can enjoy a better quality of life."

For more information on the Smart Commute Initiative, consumers may contact:
  • Community Credit Union, 972-578-5000
  • Countrywide Home Loans, 972-713-3820
  • Jefferson Mortgage Services, 972-331-1500
For more information on Fannie Mae's affordable mortgage products, consumers may call Fannie Mae's Consumer Resource Center at 1-800-7FANNIE (1-800-732-6643), Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. EST.

# # #

Fannie Mae is a New York Stock Exchange company and the largest non-bank financial services company in the world. It operates pursuant to a federal charter and is the nation's largest source of financing for home mortgages. Fannie Mae has pledged through its "American Dream Commitment" to expand access to homeownership for millions of first-time home buyers; help raise the minority homeownership rate to at least 55 percent; make homeownership and rental housing a success for millions of families at risk of losing their homes; and expand the supply of affordable housing where it is needed most. Since 1968, Fannie Mae has provided $6 trillion of mortgage financing for more than 60 million families. More information about Fannie Mae can be found on the Internet at

Smart Commute is a trademark of Fannie Mae, and the American Dream Commitment is a registered mark of Fannie Mae. Unauthorized use of these marks is prohibited.

Style Usage: Fannie Mae's Board of Directors has authorized the company to operate as "Fannie Mae," and the company's stock is now listed on the NYSE as "FNM." In order to facilitate clarity and avoid confusion, news organizations are asked to refer to the company exclusively as "Fannie Mae."

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