Nearly 1300 organizations signed onto a letter to Congress urging increased funding to the national Housing Trust Fund (HTF) to at least $3.5 billion annually through comprehensive housing finance reform. The HTF is the first new federal housing resource in a generation exclusively targeted to build and preserve homes affordable to people with the lowest incomes. The HTF is funded through a small annual assessment on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s annual book of business; $174 million was allocated to states in 2016 and $220 million in 2017. The HTF needs far more resources to meet the pressing need for affordable housing for the lowest income people in America. (President Donald Trump proposed to eliminate the HTF in his FY19 budget request on February 12 – see the article in this Memo on the president’s budget request.)
NLIHC’s The Gap: A Shortage of Affordable Homes report shows there is a shortage of 7.4 million rental homes affordable to the nation’s 11.4 million extremely low income renters. As a result, 71% of extremely low income households are severely housing cost-burdened, paying more than half of their limited incomes on rent. After paying their housing expenses, these families have insufficient resources for food, clothing, healthcare, transportation, and other basic necessities. In the worst cases, they become homeless.
Republicans and Democrats on the Senate Banking Committee voted in 2014 for housing finance reform legislation negotiated by Senators Tim Johnson (D-SD) and Mike Crapo (R-ID) that would have increased funding for the HTF to an estimated $3.5 billion annually with non-appropriated funds. The letter to Congress calls for making this level of funding the starting point for any new housing finance reform legislation taken up by Congress.
Read the letter at: http://bit.ly/2En1Cgq