Housing Trust, Penniless for 7 Years, Finally Gets Funding to Fight Homelessness
A federal funding source for affordable housing will soon receive an infusion of money following years of neglect by Washington.
The National Housing Trust Fund, created by Congress in 2008 to support affordable housing projects across the country, has not received any funding since its inception. But the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) announced late last year that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are now strong enough, now that the housing crisis has abated, to contribute to the National Housing Trust Fund.
Rachael Myers, executive director of the Washington Low Income Housing Alliance, told ThinkProgress that the decision will result in $325 million in block grants being distributed to states starting next year.
House Republicans were incensed by the FHFA plan, with House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) threatening to call FHFA director Mel Watt before his committee. Another Republican representative, Ed Royce of California, plans to introduce a bill that would prohibit Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac from transferring money to FHFA.
Democrats praised the plan to contribute to the trust fund. Senator Jack Reed (D-Rhode Island) said: “It will allow more renters to find the homes they need at prices they can afford and will help with economic development initiatives in low income or rural areas.”
To Learn More:
The Government Just Took a Step toward Ending Mass Homelessness (by Bryce Covert, ThinkProgress)
Republicans Blast FHFA Plan to Restart Contributions to Housing Trust Fund (by Vicki Needham, The Hill)
Utah and Detroit Experiment with Giving Free Housing to the Homeless (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)
More than One Million Schoolchildren in U.S. are Homeless (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)
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