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National Housing Trust Fund will provide resources for development of affordable housing
National Housing Trust Fund holds promise for low income Ohioans
    This week, the Federal Housing Finance Agency directed Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae (the Federally chartered mortgage finance agencies) to begin making payments to the National Housing Trust Fund.  The National Housing Trust Fund (NHTF) was enacted in 2008, but never got funded because of the precarious financial situation of Fannie & Freddie, which eventually ended up in receivership.  With the end of the housing finance crisis, the "temporary suspension" of payments has been lifted and the National Housing Trust Fund is becoming a reality.
    Two key features of the NHTF are:
  • At least 90% of the funds must be used for the production, preservation, rehabilitation, or operation of rental housing, and
  • Targeted toward extremely low income households, at least 75% of the funds for rental housing must benefit very low income households.
    With this week's action, funds should be available from the NHTF as early as 2016.  States will receive an allocation from HUD based on a complex "needs-based" formula that is currently under review at the Office of Management and Budget.  The National Low Income Housing Coalition estimates that Ohio could receive $175,300, 000 per year.
    NHTF funds will be able to be used to support the construction, preservation and operation of housing that’s affordable to the highest-need families in the community.  Types of assistance may include grants, equity investments, loans or advances, interest subsidies and deferred payment loans.

    This week's news is a step in the right direction.  Now affordable housing advocates are waiting to find out how funds in the National Housing Trust Fund will be made available to support new housing development.
    Enterprise Community Partners has a more detailed review of NHTF at
    More on the National Housing Trust Fund here.

 What's the latest news on NHTF

January 2016: OHFA is putting the finishing touches on an NHTF webpage with some basic information. There is an email address that is set up and live for public comment: that you are welcome to circulate now for general comments. The webpage should be up in a week or two and I can send that to you when it is live so that you can circulate. Then, once we have get the final numbers from HUD in April and start development of the allocation plan, folks can weigh in more specifically on is actually been proposed.  General principles might in your local needs, what kinds of input local people will have around the selection of projects which receive NHTF dollars. Because a small portion of NHTF can be used for "soft costs" (programs, not buildings), what are your recommendations for programmatic expenses that would be of direct benefit to the lowest income households. Keep in mind that NHTF funds will grow year by year so what looks like a small program now, could really expand over time.

Jan 2015:  HUD releases draft regulations (see attached at the bottom on this page)

12/11/2014 FHFA directs Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae to begin setting aside funds for the National Housing Trust Fund.  "FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE   The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) today directed Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to begin setting aside and allocating funds to the Housing Trust Fund and the Capital Magnet Fund pursuant to the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 (HERA).   HERA authorized FHFA to temporarily suspend these allocations, and FHFA informed Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac of a temporary suspension on November 13, 2008.  In letters sent today, FHFA notified Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac of the agency’s decision to reverse the temporary suspension."

Advocates Agenda
1.  How will Ohio manage this windfall of funding for low income rental housing?  Which state agency will be in control of the funding?  How will funds be used to help low income Ohioans?  Clearly 2015 will be a critical planning year for State leaders and housing advocates to shape plans for putting NHTF funds to work.
2.  Finding more revenue.  National Low Income Housing Coalition is pushing a proposal to reduce the mortage interest deduction to the wealthiest families and use the savings to provide additional funding to the National Housing Trust Fund.
3.  Some in Congress would like to see the NHTF defunded all togehter.

Notes & Links

Much of the content of this page is adapted from National Low Income Housing Coalition

Spencer Wells,
Feb 12, 2015, 12:24 PM