NJ Has Used HTF Grant Awards to Build or Preserve 20 Rental Homes in Six Projects
On October 29, 2018, the National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) held a Capitol Hill briefing titled “Bold Housing Solutions,” on the HTF.
The briefing informed more than sixty staff of members of Congress about the:
- national Housing Trust Fund (HTF);
- the work underway to build HTF homes for the lowest income people in America; and opportunities to increase funding to the HTF though housing finance reform, infrastructure spending, and comprehensive affordable housing legislation.
NLIHC Senior Advisor Ed Gramlich provided a brief summary of NLIHC’s new report Getting Started: First Homes Being Built with 2016 National Housing Trust Fund Awards.
Among the report’s findings is that many states are prioritizing HTF funding for:
- homes for extremely low-income seniors,
- people with disabilities,
- veterans, the homeless and
- those at risk of homelessness.
NLIHC reports that six projects in New Jersey have used HTF grant awards to build or preserve a total of 20 rental homes for extremely low income households. A project in Millstone, New Jersey is featured in the report. New Jersey had five “medium” sized awards – amounts greater than $500,000 but equal to or less than $1 million.
Mary Tingerthal, commissioner of the Minnesota Housing Finance Agency, described among other projects supported with HTF funding the Solace Apartments in St. Peter, MN, which celebrated a ribbon cutting on October 25. The Solace Apartments will provide 30 supportive housing units, 16 HTF-assisted and 8 HOME-assisted. Solace is using a Housing First model, serving women exiting incarceration with a focus on family reintegration.
Jennifer Hollar, director of policy and special projects at the Vermont Housing & Conservation Board, described among other projects the Great River Terrace in Brattleboro, VT. Funding from the HTF was a critical source of gap financing to renovate a former roadside motel to create 22 new micro-apartments affordable to households with incomes at or below 30% of the area median income. The project will also provide homeless people with on-site services.
Shauna Sorrells, chief operating officer at the Housing Opportunities Commission of Montgomery County, MD, and NLIHC board member, discussed two projects recently developed in the high-rent county that, had HTF been available, could have included units affordable to extremely low-income households in areas of opportunity.
NLIHC Senior Policy Director Sarah Mickelson informed the audience that Senator Elizabeth Warren’s (D-MA) “American Housing and Economic Mobility Act of 2018” would invest $445 billion in the HTF over ten years. She noted that other opportunities to increase funding to the HTF are through housing finance reform and any new infrastructure investment bills.