Waters Praises First-Ever Housing Trust Fund Allocation for Affordable Housing, Calls for More Funding for Low-Income Households
California to Receive Largest Award of $10 Million
WASHINGTON -- Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA), Ranking Member of the House Financial Services Committee, released the following statement today regarding an announcement from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) that it will allocate $174 million to states from the National Housing Trust Fund:
“There is a serious lack of affordable housing units in this country, causing undue hardships for many Americans who have trouble paying their rent. We created the National Housing Trust Fund to provide much-needed affordable housing for extremely low-income households, and I am pleased that HUD is distributing these funds to help states meet this need. However, we need to devote more resources to truly address the acute shortage of affordable housing, and I call on policymakers at the national, state and local levels to make further investments in our housing programs.”
Waters coauthored the legislation that created the Housing Trust Fund (HTF) in 2008. It is the only federal housing program that requires the majority of grant amounts (at least 75 percent) be used for the benefit of extremely low-income households. The HTF receives funding through contributions made by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and is being capitalized for the first time this year. Each state is allocated a minimum of $3 million for the production and preservation of affordable housing units. The awards announced today include $10 million for California, the largest grant amount.
In March, Waters introduced comprehensive legislation to end homelessness in America by devoting $13.27 billion over five years to federal housing and homeless assistance programs. Of that amount, the bill would provide $1.05 billion annually in permanent funding to the HTF, which would guarantee a steady funding stream regardless of fluctuations in contributions from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The funding is expected to create 25,000 new deeply affordable units in the first five years and help keep tenant rent contributions at 30 percent of adjusted gross income or less. Waters has expressed concern that rent for HTF units could exceed the statutory 30 percent requirement under current regulations, and is working with the Department to ensure that extremely low-income households do not face undue burdens.