— In September 2019, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) overhauled its system of multifamily caps, simplifying its structure and setting caps for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac of $100 billion each for the next five quarters. Two months later, Freddie Mac asked Rich Martinez to play a major role in guiding production volume, appointing him senior vice president, multifamily production and sales. Just three weeks later, patient zero, the first person diagnosed with COVID-19, fell ill. 

In retrospect, Freddie Mac’s decision to choose an industry veteran like Martinez — he has been with the agency for over thirty years — proved prescient. This was just one in a series of decisions that have enabled Freddie Mac to navigate the crisis — and to find itself, almost a year later, zeroing in on its caps.

We sat down with Martinez for an inside account of how Freddie Mac responded as the pandemic evolved.