On February 1, 2012, President Barack Obama announced his eight-point housing recovery plan which includes $1 billion in mandatory funding for the National Housing Trust Fund (NHTF.) One element of the plan focuses on creating jobs in the building trades and includes both the NHTF and Project Rebuild, the $15 billion next generation Neighborhood Stabilization Plan that is part of the President’s jobs initiative.
Some elements of the housing plan can be implemented by Administration actions but most, including the NHTF, require Congressional approval. Both the NHTF and Project Rebuild will be in the President’s FY13 Budget to be released on February 13, 2012.
HUD and White House officials will work with the NHTF Campaign on legislative funding strategies.
In a statement offering praise for the President’s plan, Congressman Barney Frank (D-MA), the NHTF’s champion in the House of Representatives, said:
The President’s plan to fund the Affordable Housing Trust Fund is particularly important. Congress established the program several years ago, but we have been unable to fund it until now. In the future, we must prevent the practice of mortgage loans being made to people who should not have received them, both for the sake of those people, and in the interests of the country as a whole. And one of the most important ways to alleviate the pressure for imprudent mortgage lending is to provide decent affordable rental housing for people of limited income. This does not mean that low-income people should not be given a chance to own homes, but it does recognize that for the great majority of people in this category, well-constructed rental housing is the best approach. This is especially the case now that a large inventory of vacant properties is available for this purpose.