NLIHC held a Capitol Hill briefing titled “Bold Housing Solutions” on October 29. The briefing informed more than sixty staff of members of Congress about the national Housing Trust Fund (HTF); the work underway to build HTF homes for the lowest income people in America; and opportunities to increase funding to the HTF though housing finance reform, infrastructure spending, and comprehensive affordable housing legislation.
NLIHC Senior Advisor Ed Gramlich provided a brief summary of NLIHC’s new report Getting Started: First Homes Being Built with 2016 National Housing Trust Fund Awards. Among the report’s findings is that many states are prioritizing HTF funding for homes for extremely low income seniors, people with disabilities, veterans, the homeless and those at risk of homelessness.
Mary Tingerthal, commissioner of the Minnesota Housing Finance Agency, described among other projects supported with HTF funding the Solace Apartments in St. Peter, MN, which celebrated a ribbon cutting on October 25. The Solace Apartments will provide 30 supportive housing units, 16 HTF-assisted and 8 HOME-assisted. Solace is using a Housing First model, serving women exiting incarceration with a focus on family reintegration.
Jennifer Hollar, director of policy and special projects at the Vermont Housing & Conservation Board, described among other projects the Great River Terrace in Brattleboro, VT. Funding from the HTF was a critical source of gap financing to renovate a former roadside motel to create 22 new micro-apartments affordable to households with incomes at or below 30% of the area median income. The project will also provide homeless people with on-site services.
Shauna Sorrells, chief operating officer at the Housing Opportunities Commission of Montgomery County, MD, and NLIHC board member, discussed two projects recently developed in the high-rent county that, had HTF been available, could have included units affordable to extremely low income households in areas of opportunity.
NLIHC Senior Policy Director Sarah Mickelson informed the audience that Senator Elizabeth Warren’s (D-MA) “American Housing and Economic Mobility Act of 2018” would invest $445 billion in the HTF over ten years. She noted that other opportunities to increase funding to the HTF are through housing finance reform and any new infrastructure investment bills.
View a recording of the briefing at: https://bit.ly/2DhnjBJ
PowerPoint slides from the briefing are available at: https://bit.ly/2Rpwgvy
Getting Started: First Homes Being Built with 2016 National Housing Trust Fund Awards is available at: https://bit.ly/2pPj9YT