On January 13, 2013, The New York Times ran an editorial, “Fight for the Housing Trust Fund,” making the case for (finally) funding the National Housing Trust Fund which would make great strides in ending the affordable housing crisis in the United States.
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According to the editorial, almost 3.3 million families with children spend more than half of their income on housing or live in unsafe housing. But the Trust Fund would rehabilitate or create new affordable housing that would meet their critical housing needs.
The National Housing Trust Fund was passed by Congress in 2008 but then was not funded due to the recession.
“The fund, modeled on successful state programs, would provide subsidies and incentives to preserve, rehabilitate and build housing, primarily for extremely low-income families that earn about 30 percent of the average median incomes in their areas, typically spend more than half their incomes on rent and are disproportionately at risk of slipping into homelessness.”
And a few funding options have been proposed including:
Through Fannie Mae and Fannie Mac; and
By Representative Keith Ellison’s bill that would turn the mortgage interest tax deduction into a tax credit targeted at low- and middle-income homeowners.
“The administration embraced the goal of funding the trust fund as part of its 2010 homelessness program. But it has yet to spend serious political capital extracting the money from Congress. It is should do so this time around, lest this creative idea never come to fruition.”