Affordable housing advocates celebrated the establishment of a local housing trust fund in Jackson, MS. The Jackson Housing Trust Fund (JHTF) is the first trust fund ever established in the state and is designed to match National Housing Trust Fund (NHTF) dollars. The Jackson City Council unanimously passed the ordinance to establish the JHTF on March 24, 2015.
The JHTF is a result of intensive advocacy from Housing Mississippi and Working Together Jackson. It is an extension of a long term effort, underway since 2006, to establish a state housing trust fund in Mississippi. Housing Mississippi has worked closely on both efforts with the Center for Community Change’s Housing Trust Fund Project. Working Together Jackson is an affiliate of the Industrial Areas Foundation.
The JHTF will serve as a fund into which grants awarded from the State of Mississippi, including NHTF dollars, can be deposited. The city will match NHTF funds at a ratio of 1 to 1 using local funding. Since the JHTF is designed to leverage NHTF dollars, funding will comply with the NHTF statute and HUD’s interim rule. Advocates are currently exploring options for local funds that can be used to provide the match.
The federal NHTF statute and interim rule do not require a local match. However, state Allocation Plans for distributing NHTF resources must give priority to projects that meet certain criteria, including the extent to which the project will use non-federal funds.
In addition to establishing the JHTF, the ordinance calls for the creation of the Jackson Housing Trust Fund Advisory Committee. The Advisory Committee will consist of nine members nominated by the Mayor and confirmed by Jackson City Council. Members of the Advisory Committee will be responsible for monitoring compliance with NHTF regulations and reporting annually on the use of JHTF funds. The Advisory Committee will also develop a plan for the upcoming fiscal year.
For more information on the Jackson Housing Trust Fund, contact Phil Eide, Hope Enterprise Corporation: Phil.Eide@hope-ec.org.
For more information on state and local housing trust fund advocacy, contact Mary Brooks of the Center for Community Change’s Housing Trust Fund Project: email@example.com.