Families become homeless when they can no longer afford a place to live. With unemployment still high, with so many jobs today not paying a living wage, and with the constantly rising costs of rents, it is critical that we make an investment in affordable housing. For every ten extremely low income households, there are only three affordable and available rentals.
Family Promise has long supported the creation of the National Housing Trust Fund (hereafter the NHTF) which is designed to address the critical affordable housing shortage. The NHTF, when fully funded, will create three million affordable rental units for extremely low income households–those making 30% or less of the area’s median income.
The NHTF was signed into law by President Bush in 2008, but has never received a dime of funding.
Funding the National Housing Trust Fund
Family Promise endorses the United For Homes Campaign.
Reforming the Mortgage Interest Deduction
Family Promise and Voices Uniting urge all who care about families experiencing homelessness-and all low income renters-to support he passage of H.R. 1213, The Common Sense Housing Investment Act of 2013. The lack of affordable housing is a major cause of homelessness.
If you are interested in working with us to pass this legislation, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will look forward to working with you.
Learn More About “The Common Sense Housing Investment Act of 2013”
Download some of the following documents that might help you understand and promote the proposal:
- U.S. Map of Available and Affordable Housing by State
- Resolution in Support of Funding the National Housing Trust Fund Through Mortgage Interest Deduction.
- Understanding and Promoting the Mortgage Interest Deduction Reform
Other NHTF Funding Options
Funds from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac
Under the original law, the NHTF was to be funded from the profits of the government enterprises Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. However, they went into receivership after the Great Recession and never made a payment. But they have been making profits again since 2011, and should begin making payments to the NHTF.
Currently a lawsuit is filed to receive the profits from recent years according to the original law. This is not sufficient funding however to create enough necessary housing.
The President has asked for an appropriation of $1 billion each year in his annual budget request. Congress has never appropriated any funding. The year to year battle over funding non defense discretionary funding is always a tough struggle. That is why with the passage of the law creating the NHTF, it was decided to seek permanent sources of funding that do not rely on an annual budget process.
Housing Finance Reform
There is an effort in Congress to reform the housing finance system. The “Johnson-Crapo” bill proposes to wind down Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and replace them. The new agency would impose a fee on housing transactions that would fund the NHTF at about $3.75 billion annually.
There are objections from those in low-income communities because regulations that insist on investment in low-income communities would be weakened. There is also a tension around the purpose of such reform. Is it to make housing more readily available or is it to protect investors?
Family Promise prefers a better housing finance reform proposal.