NLIHC urges all organizations concerned about homelessness and the lack of affordable homes in the U.S. to sign onto a letter calling on Congress to protect and expand the national Housing Trust Fund (HTF). The HTF is under immediate threat of defunding by the Trump administration.
A copy of President Trump’s FY18 budget for HUD, leaked on May 19, not only would slash funding for critical HUD affordable housing programs (see related article in this Memo to Members), it would also defund the HTF, the first new housing resource in a generation and one that is exclusively targeted to help build and preserve housing affordable to people with the lowest incomes, including those experiencing homelessness.
The HTF is administered as a block grant, giving each state the flexibility to decide how best to use HTF resources to address its most pressing housing needs. The first $174 million in HTF dollars were allocated to the states in 2016, which was an important start, but Congress must protect the HTF from the administration’s attack and instead significantly increase its funding to address the critical affordable housing needs of the lowest income renters in every community in the U.S.
With more resources, the HTF can play a critical role in ensuring the nation’s 11.4 million extremely low income households have access to decent, affordable homes.
In additional to protecting the HTF from this new threat in Congressional deliberations on FY18 spending, Congress is considering reforms to the government sponsored enterprises (GSEs), Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, in 2017. Because the HTF is funded through a small assessment on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s new business each year, reforms to the GSEs would have a direct impact on the HTF. Previous bipartisan legislation reforming the GSEs included a significant increase in resources to the HTF. Congressional leaders considering reforms during this session of Congress must protect and expand the HTF to assist the 7.4 million extremely low income households who lack access to affordable homes. There may also be opportunities to expand the HTF in a comprehensive infrastructure package and in comprehensive tax reform efforts.
Sign the letter by May 31 urging Congress to protect and expand the HTF and share it with your networks.
Contact your Congressional delegation directly at: http://bit.ly/2lBR7eM