The National Housing Trust Fund: Have YOU Shown Your Support?

written by naehblog
April 29, 2010

It’s been a long, ongoing struggle to create and fund a National Housing Trust Fund (NHTF). After years of campaigning, advocates won a huge victory in July 2008 when Congress passed the Housing and Economic Recovery Act, which established the NHTF.

The legislation that created the NHTF also included a funding mechanism but unfortunately, that mechanism involved using resources from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and only if they are in sound condition. That’s not the case now, and it may not be for a very long time.

So now, nearly 2 years later, Congress still hasn’t put any money into the Trust Fund. In December, the House passed a “jobs bill” that includes $1 billion for the NHTF, along with an additional $65 million for project-based vouchers to be coupled with the Trust Fund grants. However, the Senate has yet to follow suit.

To encourage Congress to finally provide some initial funds for the NHTF, the National Housing Trust Fund Campaign is collecting organizational signatures on a sign-on letter calling on Congress to provide $1 billion for the NHTF.

So far, an astounding 1,684 organizations from across the country have signed on! Their goal is to get organizations from every single congressional district in the country to sign on. So far, we’re at 379 out of 435 congressional districts.

If your organization hasn’t signed on yet, click here to sign on~! Below is a list of the congressional districts not yet represented on the letter:

Why is the NHTF so important? The NHTF would provide funds to help communities build, rehabilitate, and preserve housing units for the lowest-income households, which is critical for preventing and ending homelessness.

At least 90 percent of the Trust Fund resources have to be used for rental housing, and at least 75 percent of those funds must serve extremely low income households – those households earning 30 percent or less of the area median income (AMI) – or households living below the federal poverty line. All funds must serve households below 50 percent of AMI, or very low income households.