Funding for the HTF was at risk due to the recently enacted tax bill, which caused a devaluation of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s (the enterprises’) tax deferred assets and forced the enterprises to need a draw from the Treasury Department.
Under federal law, the FHFA has the broad authority to suspend contributions to the HTF if it would have a negative impact on the financial stability of the enterprises. In January, NLIHC sent a letter to FHFA making the case that the financial stability of the enterprises were not at issue under these unique circumstances and that contributions to the HTF should be continued.
FHFA’s decision to protect the HTF will allow states and communities to continue to use this critical resource in the coming year to help address the severe shortage of affordable rental homes for the lowest income seniors, people with disabilities, families with children, and people at risk of and experiencing homelessness.
To date, nearly $400 million has been allocated to the states through the HTF to help them address the shortage of 7.4 million rental homes affordable and available to families with extremely low incomes.
NLIHC research finds that for every 100 of the lowest income people, there are just 35 affordable homes available to them.
As a result, 71% of these households pay more than half of their limited incomes on rent, forcing them to make impossible trade-offs between paying their rent and buying groceries, visiting their doctor, saving for a rainy day, or investing in their children’s education.
NLIHC applauds FHFA for protecting the HTF and will continue to engage stakeholders, advocates, and Congress to expand this vital program to help it reach more people in need of affordable homes.
You can support this effort by signing onto the national letter – signed by nearly 1,300 organizations – urging Congress to expand the HTF to at least $3.5 billion annually through housing finance reform legislation.
The National Low Income Housing Coalition is dedicated solely to achieving socially just public policy that assures people with the lowest incomes in the United States have affordable and decent homes.