On First Anniversary of Passage, Campaign Calls for Funding of National Housing Trust Fund

For Immediate Release

Contact: 

Taylor Materio 202-662-1530 x227; taylor@nlihc.org

On First Anniversary of Passage, Campaign Calls for Funding of National Housing Trust Fund

WASHINGTON - On the one-year anniversary of
the enactment of the National Housing Trust Fund, the National Housing Trust
Fund campaign calls on Congress and the Administration to capitalize the fund
so communities can begin building, rehabilitating and preserving homes for the
lowest income families.

The National
Housing Trust Fund was created as part of the Housing and Economic Recovery Act
of 2008, which was signed into law by President George W. Bush on July 30, 2008.
President Barack Obama has expressed continued support of the National Housing
Trust Fund both during his campaign and as President, most recently in a Statement
of Administration Policy
issued by the White House.

However, the National
Housing Trust Fund has not yet received funding. The initial funds were to have
come from contributions from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, but those were
suspended when the companies got into financial trouble.

President Obama proposed
$1 billion in mandatory spending for the trust fund as part of his FY10 budget
request. Unfortunately, the Administration has not yet identified a dedicated source
for the funding. House Financial Services Committee Chair Barney Frank (D-MA)
recently proposed providing the fund with $1 billion in FY10 from the Troubled
Asset Relief Program (TARP) enacted last fall. The Obama Administration has not
endorsed using TARP funds for this purpose.  

"The
National Housing Trust Fund is needed now to create more homes that are
affordable to the lowest income families, which include seniors, people with
disabilities, veterans, children, members of the low wage workforce, and the
newly unemployed. We must prevent the rapid expansion of homelessness as a
result of this recession," said
National Low Income Housing Coalition President Sheila
Crowley.

"There may be a surplus of housing in the U.S. right now, but not for people
with limited incomes. While there was an overall gain in the total number of
rental housing units between 2005 and 2007, there was an actual loss of 1.5
million rental units affordable to very low income households during that
period," Ms. Crowley said. "Affordable homes for the lowest income
people have been in short supply for a long time; the housing bust and
recession have only made it worse."

"One
year ago, we created the National Housing Trust Fund so that our friends and
neighbors might never be without homes for themselves and their families,"
said National Alliance to End Homelessness President Nan Roman. "In this
time of economic uncertainty and financial hardship, more and more families are
struggling to make ends meet every month. The National Housing Trust Fund can
and will assist families with their housing obligations and help ensure that
everyone in this country has a place to call home."

The National
Housing Trust Fund is the first new federal housing production program to serve
extremely low income families since 1974. Its most important features are:

  • It is a permanent program to be
    capitalized with dedicated sources of revenue.
  • At least 90% of the funds must be
    used for the production, preservation, or rehabilitation of rental homes.
  • At least 75% of the funds for
    rental housing must benefit extremely low income (30% of area median income or
    less) households. All funds must benefit very low income households (50% of
    area median income or less).

"The promise
of the National Housing Trust Fund is tremendous. Now we must turn a
legislative accomplishment into a place to call home for the millions of low
income Americans who need it," said National Policy and Advocacy Council
on Homelessness Executive Director Jeremy Rosen.

The National
Housing Trust Fund campaign has been endorsed by more than 5,700 organizations
and state and local elected officials.

Quotes from other campaign
partner organizations on the one-year anniversary of passage of National
Housing Trust Fund legislation, as well as more information on the National
Housing Trust Fund, can be found at www.nhtf.org

###

The National Low Income Housing Coalition is dedicated solely to ending America’s affordable housing crisis. Established in 1974 by Cushing N. Dolbeare, NLIHC educates, organizes and advocates to ensure decent, affordable housing within healthy neighborhoods for everyone. NLIHC provides up-to-date information, formulates policy and educates the public on housing needs and the strategies for solutions.

Share This Article

More in: