The National Housing Trust Fund Campaign, already disappointed that the Obama Administration did not include funding for the National Housing Trust Fund in its jobs package (see previous issue of Memo ), received more bad news this week. The campaign’s request that some portion of the $15 billion proposed for Project Rebuild be set aside to serve extremely low income households was rejected by HUD officials.
Project Rebuild is a fourth iteration of the Neighborhood Stabilization Program, which seeks to buy up and rehabilitate foreclosed properties in distressed communities. Like NSP 1, 2, and 3, 25% of the funds must be used to benefit very low income (50% area median income or less) households, with the rest going as high as 120% AMI.
The explanation offered for not including ELI households in the package is that projects that benefit them are harder to do. Thus, such a requirement could delay expenditure of the funds.
Prospects for the Administration’s jobs package overall, and Project Rebuild in particular, are tied up in the larger deficit reduction vs. economic stimulus debate in Congress. Republicans have objected to the new spending elements of the jobs package as well as the means for paying for it that the President proposed.