As Congress begins considering funding levels for FY18 and taking up housing finance reform legislation, 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), a critical new resource for building and preserving homes for the lowest income people in America. The deadline for signing the letter has been extended to May 31.
The first new federal affordable housing resource in a generation, the HTF is exclusively targeted to build and preserve housing affordable to people with the lowest incomes, including veterans, seniors, people with disabilities or special needs, low-wage workers, and people experiencing homelessness. 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.
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.
The need to protect and preserve the HTF is relevant to Congressional negotiations on the FY18 spending bills. Additionally, 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