NLIHC today issued a new report, The National Housing Trust Fund: An Overview of 2017 State Projects. Part of NLIHC’s effort to document the impact of the national Housing Trust Fund (HTF), the report summarizes how each state and the District of Columbia planned to use $219 million allocated in 2017 by the HTF.
In 2017 – the second year of HTF implementation – states continued to use most of their HTF resources to target projects that served people experiencing homelessness, people with disabilities, elderly people, or other special needs populations. Most of the 2017 HTF allocation – more than $144 million – was used to construct new affordable housing units. Another $7 million was used for adaptive re-use projects, creating more affordable housing in properties previously used for non-housing purposes. Although reported to HUD as “rehabilitation,” NLIHC research showed that these projects used nearly $8 million to create new affordable housing. Meanwhile, $38 million of HTF was used to preserve existing affordable housing, helping to ensure that this stock does not revert to market-rate housing. Of that $38 million, more than $15 million was used to help preserve earlier federal investment in affordable housing through HUD’s Project-Based Section 8 program and USDA’s Rural Development (RD) Section 515 program.
The HTF remains an essential source of gap financing, used in conjunction with the HOME Investment Partnerships Program (HOME), the Federal Home Loan Banks’ Affordable Housing Program (AHP), and other state affordable housing programs, including state or local Housing Trust Funds. The HTF was used as gap financing for 123 projects also using the Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) program’s equity investments in 2017, meaning that some units in LIHTC projects would serve extremely low-income households. Still, 58 projects in 24 states did not rely on LIHTC equity; in these cases, state policies tended to use HTF strategically in smaller projects not conducive to the LIHTC process.
In September 2018, NLIHC published a preliminary report examining the 2016 HTF awards, Getting Started: First Homes Being Built with National Housing Trust Fund Awards, later supplementing the report with additional data as more states provided the necessary information (“Supplemental Update to Getting Started”). In addition to the new report on how states proposed awarding their HTF allocations in 2017, a report providing an overview of 2018 projects is forthcoming. NLIHC will continue providing such reports in the future.