The upcoming year will be crucial to determining the future of the national Housing Trust Fund (HTF), the first new federal resource in a generation dedicated to building and preserving homes for the lowest income people in America. Housing finance reform legislation could be taken up by a lame duck Congress this fall or by the new Congress in 2019. Current legislation does not meet the $3.5 billion threshold for HTF funding established in the bi-partisan Johnson-Crapo reform bill of 2014. Additionally, President Trump may appoint a new Federal Housing Finance Agency director who could once again suspend the statutorily required contributions by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to the HTF. Opportunities for a dramatic expansion of funding to the HTF are also arising, most notably through Senator Warren’s “American Housing and Economic Mobility Act,” which would allocate $44 billion each year to the HTF for ten years.
The HTF must be protected and expanded. The HTF is already funding the construction of homes for people who are homeless and families experiencing housing instability. NLIHC recently detailed how states are using their first allocations of HTF dollars in the report Getting Started: First Homes Being Built with 2016 National Housing Trust Fund Awards.
To build on this progress and opportunity, NLIHC is re-invigorating the NHTF campaign. The original campaign had thousands of endorsing organizations, elected officials, and local governments prior to the establishment of the HTF in the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008.