Staff and Advocates Share NHTF
Updates at NLIHC Policy Forum
At the National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) 2016 Policy Forum U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Julián Castro officially announced that nearly $174 million will soon be available for the inaugural allocation of dedicated resources for the National Housing Trust Fund (NHTF).
Secretary Castro said that HUD expects to announce in the Federal Register individual allocations to states later this spring, and that he anticipates the funds could be drawn upon as early as this summer.
Secretary Castro reminded the audience that
“the NHTF is the first new affordable housing production program in almost a generation, and it’s the first to focus almost exclusively on extremely low income families. The NHTF is going to provide a big boost to another effort my team has been focused on – making the promise of fair housing a reality for every American.”
Secretary Castro said.
In a media release, HUD noted that eight years after the NHTF was authorized by the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008, the NHTF finally began to be capitalized in calendar year 2015 through assessments on the volume of new business of the government sponsored enterprises, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
During the Forum, NLIHC held a session on “National Housing Trust Fund Implementation” Mario Mollegan McFadden from HUD gave an update on NHTF implementation including that there are no exact dates yet for when the money for states will be available. In futures years, the funding will come through the consolidated plan process. McFadden is the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Grant Programs at HUD.
There is great concern that the the rents be as affordable as possible for extremely low-income families. States will have the discretion to set rents.
Greg Payne, Development Officer with Avesta Housing, and Director, Maine Affordable Housing Coalition, reinforced that with the NHTF there should be a priority for projects truly serving poor households. He warned that advocates should be particular attentive to any state efforts to supplant existing resources with the Trust Fund and address this up front with the state allocating agency. He encouraged to “play offense” and “lift up those stories” of early NHTF success!