Tuesday, July 31 was a momentous day for the National Housing Trust Fund Campaign. For the first time since the campaign began in 2001, we have successfully moved legislation to establish a National Housing Trust Fund out of committee. H.R. 2895, the National Affordable Housing Trust Fund Act of 2007, was reported out of the House Financial Services Committee on July 31 by vote of 45-23. All Democratic and 8 Republican members of the committee voted in support of the bill.
WHAT H.R. 2895 DOES
H.R. 2895 directs funds from Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the Federal Housing Administration into a National Affordable Housing Trust Fund. Thus, as with the best of state and local housing trust funds, the National Affordable Housing Trust Fund does not depend on annual appropriations. The combined amount estimated to be in the Fund for the first year is $800 million to $1 billion. The bill also allows for “any amounts as are or may be appropriated, transferred, or credited to such Fund under any other provisions of law,” setting the stage for additional sources of revenue to be dedicated to the Fund.
As has been the primary goal of the National Housing Trust Fund Campaign since its onset, the bill focuses on the production and preservation of rental housing that is affordable for extremely low income (ELI or 30% AMI or less) families. Three-quarters (75%) of the Fund must be used for ELI families, with 30% of the total going to even poorer families, those whose income is no more that the federal Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefit level. The remaining 25% of the Fund can go to households with incomes up to 60% AMI, until the Fund reaches $2 billion a year. After that threshold is passed, 25% of the Fund can be used for households with incomes up to 80% AMI.
For complete details on the bill’s provisions, click here.
Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank (D-MA), the bill’s sponsor, plans to bring H.R. 2895 to the floor of the House of Representatives sometime in September. He will also bring H.R.1852, the Expanding American Homeownership Act of 2007, to the floor in September.
This bill provides the funding for H.R. 2895 from the Federal Housing Administration. (H.R. 1427, the Federal Housing Finance Reform Act of 2007, which provides for funding from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, already passed the House by a vote of 312-104 on May 22.)
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