Waters Lauds Action to Support Housing Trust Fund
Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA), Ranking Member of the House Financial Services Committee, praised today’s announcement by Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) Director Mel Watt that he will finally fund the Housing Trust Fund, a permanent federal fund that focuses on providing support to states to build, preserve and ultimately increase the supply of affordable rental housing for extremely low- and very low-income families, including homeless families.
“Today is a tremendously important day for the American people. I am thrilled that Federal Housing Finance Agency Director Mel Watt has decided, in keeping with his statutory mandate, that it’s time to fund the Housing Trust Fund and the Capital Magnet Fund. In the richest country in the world, it is unconscionable that there are 7.1 million American households for whom safe and decent housing is neither affordable nor available. By allocating a tiny percentage of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s profits to these Funds, we have the chance to improve the lives of millions of American children, families, people with disabilities and the elderly. This dedicated funding source is even more crucial given the continued attacks on the public housing and voucher programs that have taken place in recent years, led by House Republicans. I applaud Director Watt for following the law, and lifting the prohibition on these contributions.”
Congresswoman Waters fought to authorize the Housing Trust Fund and the Capital Magnet Fund, which also support homeownership, during the debate over the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008. Working with her House and Senate Democratic colleagues, Waters built support for the Funds, eventually leading to them being signed into law by President George W. Bush. Contributions to the Funds were suspended after Fannie and Freddie’s conservatorship in 2008. In the intervening years, the GSEs have become tremendously profitable, returning a combined $37 billion in profits to the taxpayers.