All organizations concerned about homelessness and the lack of affordable housing in the U.S. are urged to sign onto a letter calling on Congress to protect and expand the national Housing Trust Fund (HTF). The deadline for signing the letter has been extended to May 31.
The HTF is a critical new resource for building and preserving homes for the lowest income people in America. In 2016, its first year of funding, states made plans to use HTF resources to increase the supply of affordable rental homes for extremely low income veterans, seniors, people with disabilities or special needs, low-wage workers, and people experiencing homelessness. 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 housing.
The HTF is the first new federal affordable housing resource in a generation, and it is exclusively targeted to build and preserve housing affordable to people with the lowest incomes. In 2016, the first $174 million in HTF dollars were allocated to the states. Because the HTF is administered as a block grant, each state has the flexibility to decide how best to use HTF resources to address its most pressing housing needs. The first year of funding was a strong start to the program, but Congress must significantly expand the HTF to address the critical affordable housing needs of the lowest income renters in every community in the U.S.
The need to protect and preserve the HTF is relevant to Congressional negotiations on FY17 and FY18 appropriations. Additionally, Congress is considering reforms to the government sponsored enterprises (GSE), 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