Responding to a request from Banking Committee Chairman Tim Johnson (D-SD) and Ranking Member Mike Crapo (R-ID) for suggestions on what should be included in the housing finance reform legislation they are developing, NLIHC wrote to the two Senators specifically on the treatment of the National Housing Trust Fund (NHTF) in their potential bill.
NLIHC President and CEO Sheila Crowley wrote that “NLIHC’s primary interest in the future of federal housing finance policy is to make sure that the National Housing Trust Fund (NHTF) is protected and enhanced in order to fulfill its purpose to address the acute shortage of rental housing that the poorest households can afford and to serve to end homelessness in the United States.”
The letter covers six points about the NHTF:
- Preserve the NHTF as a stand-alone program at HUD without changes to its purpose and eligible activities.
- Preserve the principle that the housing finance system should make contributions to address the needs of the poorest households, which cannot be met through the housing market.
- Assess a 10 basis point annual user fee, i.e., a “strip,” on all mortgage backed securities (MBS), not just guaranteed securities.
- Maximize the amount of funding to the NHTF from the funds raised from this fee.
- Maintain the NHTF as a permanent fund on the mandatory side of the budget not subject to annual appropriations.
- Assure payments are made to the NHTF during the transition period and immediately upon establishment of the new housing finance system.
To read the October 11, 2013 letter to Senators Johnson and Crapo, go to http://bit.ly/1eo4ZRq