References to the National Housing Trust Fund (NHTF) appeared in three recent budget documents this week. HUD provides further detail on the $1 billion for the NHTF in the President’s FY15 budget request in its Congressional Justifications. HUD expects $1 billion in funding to produce 16,000 units of housing and to leverage “60% of the other private and public funds needed” to produce these units. HUD would dedicate funding in the first year entirely to households earning less than 30% of area median income or below the poverty line (extremely low income, or ELI). The statute requires that at least 75% of funds be used for ELI households.
HUD cites the NHTF as one of four components of a “strategic partnership” to remedy the “persistent un-affordability of housing.” The other components are supplementing incomes via rental vouchers, preserving existing affordable housing, and continuing the HOME and CDBG housing effort.
Another positive statement was the Congressional Progressive Caucus’s (CPC) highlight of the National Housing Trust Fund as a key program to address the nation’s affordable housing shortage in its FY15 budget, the “Better off Budget.” The budget calls for “the National Housing Trust Fund and the Capital Magnet Fund, to be fully funded by contributions from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac – as is required by law.”
A sour note was expressed by the Republican majority on the House Financial Services Committee in its “Views and Estimates” on the FY15 HUD budget. The Committee once again says the NHTF is duplicative of the HOME Investment Partnerships program. Referencing the NHTF, “the Committee rejects the need to create a duplicative new federal bureaucracy to administer essentially the same program that could be achieved with several of the existing 160 housing programs identified by the GAO.”
View HUD’s Congressional Justifications: http://1.usa.gov/1cOFBC9
View the Congressional Progressive Caucus budget: http://1.usa.gov/1fuh2zn
See Views and Estimates at: http://1.usa.gov/1iVzTGR (p.11)