Housing Finance Reform Bill Would Significantly Fund the National Housing Trust Fund

Senate Banking Committee Chair Tim Johnson (D-SD) and Ranking Member Mike Crapo (R-ID) have released the legislative text of a bipartisan housing finance reform proposal, the Housing Finance Reform and Taxpayer Protection Act of 2014. The bill as drafted could provide over $3.5 billion a year for the National Housing Trust Fund (NHTF), a trust fund created in 2008 to build, preserve, rehabilitate, and operate rental housing affordable to extremely low income families (with income at or below 30 percent of the area median). Broadly, the bill would wind down Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and create a new Federal Mortgage Insurance Corporation (FMIC) to regulate the secondary mortgage market, similar to the way the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) regulates banks. All FMIC covered securities would be assessed ten basis points to be used to fund affordable housing activities. The total fund could be as high as $5 billion annually. The draft bill calls for 75 percent to go to the NHTF. There is a nationwide shortage of 7 million rental homes that are affordable and available to extremely low income households, including households with people with disabilities. The Arc strongly supports funding the NHTF to help meet the urgent needs of people with disabilities for affordable, accessible community housing.