Bill Introduced to Block Funds to National Housing Trust Fund

Last week, Rep. Edward R. Royce (R-CA-39) and 12 co-sponsors introduced a bill (H.R. 574) to prohibit contributions by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to the National Housing Trust Fund (NHTF). The bill was referred to the House Committee on Financial Services. Congress created the NHTF in 2008 to fund affordable housing for people with the lowest incomes, a group that includes many people with disabilities. By law, the NHTF is intended to have dedicated funding from a very small assessment on the volume of business of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. However, until now the NHTF has remained unfunded. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac ran into deep financial trouble as the foreclosure crisis hit the nation in the fall of 2008, and as a result, contributions from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to the NHTF were suspended. However, in December 2014 the Federal Housing Finance Agency ended the suspension, meaning that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will now begin setting aside and directing funds to the NHTF. Current projections are that states will begin receiving NHTF funds in the spring of 2016. The Arc strongly supports funding the NHTF to help meet the urgent needs of people with disabilities for affordable, accessible community housing. The Arc strongly opposes efforts to block funds going into the NHTF, such as H.R. 574.

Department of Housing and Urban Development Releases Rule on National Housing Trust Fund; Webinar for State & Local Advocates

Last week, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) released regulations implementing the National Housing Trust Fund. In an effort to foster understanding among state and local housing advocates and providers, the National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) will be hosting a webinar Thursday, February 5, 2015 from 1-2 pm (EST) on The National Housing Trust Fund: Getting to Know the Regulations. The webinar will review information advocates and providers need in order to maximize the NHTF dollars states will be receiving in early 2016. Sign up for the webinar.

National Housing Trust Fund to be Funded

Last week, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) directed Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to begin allocating funds to the National Housing Trust Fund (NHTF). Congress created the NHTF in 2008 to fund affordable housing for people with the lowest incomes, a group that includes many people with disabilities. However, until now the NHTF has remained unfunded. The Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 authorized FHFA to temporarily suspend allocations from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to the NHTF, which FHFA did on November 13, 2008. Last week, FHFA ended the suspension, meaning that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will now begin setting aside and directing funds to the NHTF. The NHTF will be administered by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), which issued a statement noting that HUD will “soon issue regulations” to implement the NHTF. The Arc strongly supports funding the NHTF to help meet the urgent needs of people with disabilities for affordable, accessible community housing.

 

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.

House Subcommittee Votes to Eliminate National Housing Trust Fund

The Capital Markets and Government Sponsored Enterprises Subcommittee of the House Financial Services Committee voted 18 to 14 to approve H.R. 2441, a bill sponsored by Rep. Edward Royce (R-CA) to eliminate the National Housing Trust Fund (NHTF). The NHTF was created in 2008 to provide communities with funds to build, preserve, and rehabilitate rental housing for people with the lowest incomes, such as SSI and SSDI beneficiaries. For FY 2012, the President’s budget requests $1 billion to start up the NHTF. The Arc supports the NHTF to address the housing crisis for people with disabilities. In 2010, the average rent for a one-bedroom apartment was $785 per month – far higher than $703, the average monthly SSI income.  To move forward, H.R. 2441 must next be approved by the full House Financial Services Committee. There is no related legislation in the Senate.