Washington, D.C.-based National Cooperative Bank has joined forces with Natwest Bank to extend a $51 million mortgage to a housing co-op in New York City.

NCB said the loan was structured as a 25-year fixed-rate mortgage. It said the loan, a refinancing, would save the residents more than $600,000 a year in debt service.

The loan was originated by NCB and bought by Natwest.

The cooperative bank says it is a leading provider of mortgage banking and other services to cooperative enterprises nationwide. It said the loan to the co-op, Glen Oaks Village in Queens, was the biggest real estate loan in its history.

It refers to itself as a pioneer in the securitization and sale of cooperative housing loans, affordable-housing loans, and financing for mobile-home cooperatives. The majority of its $1.3 billion in loans are to finance real estate.

Natwest Bank is an active originator and buyer of cooperative loans and presently holds $250 million in its portfolio.

The Queens development, which has about 10,000 residents, is about 85% owner occupied. Cooperatives are similar to condominiums, but ownership of the apartments is less direct. Share ownership in a co-op corporation entitles the holders to a proprietary lease to a specific apartment.

In addition to the underlying mortgage held by the corporation, residents may have their own home loans secured by their shares.

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The Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. said it would buy mortgages for Native Americans through a Department of Housing and Urban Development program.

"We want to support lenders who can take advantage of HUD's Native American program," said Mike Coffey, vice president of expanding markets at Freddie Mac.

The HUD's section 184 program helps Indian families, Indian housing authorities, and Alaskan natives to obtain financing for one-to-four-family houses on trust lands or in native areas. The principal and interest are guaranteed by HUD.

The program is intended to make up for the chronic lack of financing caused by the legal status of trust lands, Freddie Mac said. The agency's purchases will free up funds "to promote housing opportunities for this underserved market."

Freddie Mac is also participating in conferences on housing for Native Americans as part of its outreach programs.

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