The National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) launched the United for Homes campaign in 2013 with the goal of gaining significant funding for the NHTF through changes to the mortgage interest deduction (MID).
In March, Representative Keith Ellison (D-MN) introduced H.R. 1213, the Common Sense Housing Investment Act of 2013, which includes the campaign proposal for MID reform and would use the revenue raised to fund the NHTF, as well LIHTCs, Section 8, and the Public Housing Capital Fund. The United for Homes campaign endorsed H.R. 1213. At the end of 2013, ten Members of Congress have co-sponsored H.R. 1213.
At year’s end, the campaign has gained 1,434 endorsements. In 36 states, there is at least one endorsement in every Congressional District; 85% of all Congressional District have one or more endorsements. The first order of business for the United for Homes field team in 2014 will be to get endorsements in all 435 districts.
Meanwhile, the opportunity to achieve some revenue for the NHTF from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac surfaced again in 2013. After three years of needing infusions from the Federal Treasury, both companies began making profits in 2012.
After a bruising Senate confirmation battle, which included an historic change to Senate filibuster rules, Mr. Watt was confirmed on December 10 and is expected to be sworn in on January 6. NHTF advocates are cautiously optimistic that Mr. Watt will have a more favorable view of NLIHC’s and numerous others’ position on funding the NHTF now.
Work on the NHTF in 2014 will include:
Advocating for immediate funding for the NHTF by the FHFA.
Urging HUD to get the NHTF rule out as soon as possible.
Preparing state and local advocates for NHTF implementation in their states.
Assuring the NHTF is protected in any housing reform legislation, the funds raised by the new fees on transactions are maximized, and the NHTF receives at least half of the new funds.
Continuing to expand public support for changes to the mortgage interest deduction and using the revenue raised for affordable housing, including the NHTF, and preparing for comprehensive tax reform in 2015.