Common Dreams NewsCenter

We Can't Do It Without You!
 

Home | About Us | Donate | Signup | Archives | Search

Home > Progressive Community > NewsWire > For Immediate Release
   
Printer Friendly Version E-Mail This Article
   
National Low Income Housing Coalition: House Poised to Pass National Affordable Housing Trust Fund

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 10, 2007
12:43 PM

CONTACT: National Low Income Housing Coalition
Nicole Letourneau (202) 662-1530 x227
nicole@nlihc.org

 
House Poised to Pass National Affordable Housing Trust Fund
 

WASHINGTON, DC - October 10 – Today, the U.S. House of Representatives is poised to approve legislation to establish a national housing trust fund to increase the supply of rental housing that low income people can afford.

The House is expected to pass H.R. 2895, the National Affordable Housing Trust Fund Act of 2007, legislation to establish dedicated sources of funding for the production, preservation and rehabilitation of 1.5 million affordable homes in 10 years. At least 75% of the funds will be for housing for households that are extremely low income, earning less than 30% of an area’s median income.

Passage of the bill will be a huge victory for the National Housing Trust Fund (NHTF) Campaign and its more than 5,600 supporters across the country and for low income people in the United States. The NHTF Campaign, which is coordinated by the National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC), has been working since 2001 on the goal of successful passage of legislation to establish a national housing trust fund.

“Thanks to the leadership of Representatives Maxine Waters (D-CA), Barney Frank (D-MA) and all of the supporters of this bipartisan bill, we have come farther than ever before in achieving our goal,” Sheila Crowley, president of NLIHC, said.

“Today is a very hopeful day for low income people in the United States, and it is important to remember who they are,” Crowley said. “They are people who work at the low-wage jobs that enable many others to do their jobs. They are child care providers, nursing home aids, hotel housekeepers, office cleaners, retail clerks and receptionists. And, they are elderly and disabled people with fixed incomes whose physical, emotional, financial and social well-being are compromised and damaged every day because they cannot afford even modest safe and healthy homes.”

There is an acute lack of affordable housing in the United States. The need for a national housing trust fund is well documented. Nationwide, there are only 6.2 million homes renting at prices affordable to the 9 million extremely low income renter households -- a shortage of 2.8 million homes. Not a single Congressional district has enough rental housing affordable and available to extremely low income families. Housing is considered affordable if it costs no more than 30% of household income.

The House already passed two sources of funding for the National Affordable Housing Trust Fund, which the Congressional Budget Office estimates have a combined value of $800 to $1 billion a year. On September 18, the House approved H.R. 1852, the Expanding American Homeownership Act of 2007, a bill to modernize the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) that includes funding for a National Affordable Housing Trust Fund. The funds come from expansion of the FHA’s home equity conversion mortgage (HECM) product. On May 22, the House approved another source of funding for the trust fund when it passed H.R. 1427, the Federal Housing Financial Reform Act of 2007. Also known as the Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSE) regulatory reform bill, it reserves funds from GSEs Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac as a dedicated source of funding for the National Affordable Housing Trust Fund.

Crowley noted that to reach the goal of 1.5 million units in 10 years, other dedicated sources of funding will have to be added, which the bill allows. The National Affordable Housing Trust Fund bill gets the best minds working on any number of creative ways to direct additional revenue into the fund.

The NHTF Campaign has pledged to work together with its members across the country and their representatives in the Congress to achieve the goal to establish a national housing trust fund in the 110th session of Congress. A bill is expected to be introduced in the Senate prior to adjournment of this session, which will be sometime in November or December.

More information about the NHTF Campaign: www.nhtf.org. An online toolkit contains helpful information including a summary of the legislation, frequently asked questions, fact sheets and data on the need for housing that is affordable to low income people.

###

Printer Friendly Version E-Mail This Article
Common Dreams NewsCenter is a non-profit news service
providing breaking news and views for the Progressive Community.

The press release posted here has been provided to Common Dreams NewsWire by one of the many progressive organizations who make up America's Progressive Community. If you wish to comment on this press release or would like more information, please contact the organization directly.
*all times Eastern US (GMT-5:00)

Making News?
Read our Guidelines for Submitting News Releases

CommonDreams.org is an Internet-based progressive news and grassroots activism organization, founded in 1997.
We are a nonprofit, progressive, independent and nonpartisan organization.

Home | About Us | Donate | Signup | Archives | Search

To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good.


www.commondreams.org