Representing thousands of organizations in every Congressional district that want the National Housing Trust Fund (NHTF) capitalized, 33 national housing, civil rights and human needs advocacy groups wrote White House officials and urged that the forthcoming report on the future of federal housing finance provide dedicated funding for the NHTF. The January 21 letter was sent to Melody Barnes, director of the Domestic Policy Council, and Gene Sperling, director of the National Economic Council.
Congress intended for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to make contributions to the NHTF when it was created in 2008. The Dodd-Frank Act on financial regulatory reform directed the administration to issue a report with recommendations for the next generation of federal housing finance policy by the end of this month. The letter states that “whatever form Fannie and Freddie take in the future, the obligation to contribute to the National Housing Trust Fund must be renewed and expanded.”
Echoing comments submitted by NLIHC to the Department of Treasury in 2010 on the same subject (see Memo, 7/23/10), the groups wrote that “all federally regulated financial institutions, which benefit from the federal government bearing some of the risk of their transactions, have a similar obligation.”
The letter included new data about the increase in housing need that the NHTF will support (see Memo, 1/7). NLIHC’s analysis of the American Housing Survey shows that the shortage of rental homes, both affordable and available for extremely low income households, grew from 5.2 to 6 million from 2007 to 2009.
To read the letter with all signatories, go to http://www.nlihc.org/doc/NHTF_Letter_1.21.11.pdf
To view the January 24 press release announcing the letter, go to http://nlihc.org/detail/article.cfm?article_id=7602&id=48