Surfside Condominium Tragedy Results in Stricter Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Requirements

The collapse of the Champlain Towers South in Surfside, Florida, on June 24, 2021, resulted in 98 dead and many people losing their homes. According to preliminary investigations, the collapse was due to design failure, low-grade construction, and lack of adequate and routine maintenance of the structure.

Accordingly, it was revealed by engineers and a general contractor that design flaws and structural weaknesses are one of the reasons for the tragedy. It was also found that the foundation of the critical areas was not constructed following building codes set by the American Concrete Institute.

Another 2018 report by Engr. Frank Morabito was released by Surfside Officials from when the condominium board initially reviewed the tower. The report detailed substantial structural damage in its pool deck and underground parking area.

The tragedy served as a wake-up call to condominiums about the dangers of aging infrastructures and properties with critical deficiencies. With that being said, secondary mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac issued guidelines advising of new requirements for mortgages issued in connection with cooperatives and condominiums.

Put simply, Fannie Mae or The Federal National Mortgage Association and Freddie Mac or Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation are governmental entities established by Congress to create a secondary market for residential mortgages.

As a result of the Surfside collapse, both have issued additional requirements for condominiums and cooperative residential units that might make it difficult for unit owners or new buyers to obtain mortgages. Community associations and cooperatives can comply with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac requirements through the help of a structural engineer in New Jersey that can perform a structural inspection.

Furthermore, a property condition assessment in New Jersey can help associations be aware of the necessary information about the building’s structure.

For more information, this infographic from Lockatong Engineering discusses stricter Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Requirements as a result of the Surfside Condominium Tragedy.

structural engineer in New Jersey