Representatives will vote on amendments to protect 2016 and future funding of the National Housing Trust Fund (NHTF) when the House considers H.R. 2577, the FY16 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies appropriations bill, which could be considered as early as the week of June 1 (see related article on the overall THUD bill).
H.R. 2577 includes two provisions devastating to the NHTF. The first would empty the NHTF of all of its resources in 2016 and transfer these resources to the HOME program, which the bill cuts by $133 million for FY16. The second would prohibit Congress from directing any other funds to the NHTF.
H.R. 2577 would cut HOME funding to $767 million, down from its FY15 appropriation of $900 million. HOME appropriations have been cut precipitously since FY10 when the program was funded at $1.8 billion.
An amendment is expected on the House floor to strike the bill language related to NHTF, including raiding the NHTF to fund HOME in FY16. That amendment would also increase FY16 funding for HOME to $1.06 billion, the amount requested by President Barak Obama.
A second amendment that would strike the bill’s language that “no amounts made by any provision of law may be transferred, reprogrammed, or credited to the Housing Trust Fund” also is expected.
The NHTF was signed into law in 2008 but its initial funding source, a 4.2 basis point assessment on new business at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, was suspended that same year after these government sponsored enterprises went into conservatorship. In December 2014, the suspension was lifted, and in January 2015 HUD issued interim regulations. The NHTF is set to receive its first monies in 2016.
More information about the NHTF is at http://nlihc.org/issues/nhtf