|The U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development has announced that communities across the nation will receive a total of $693 million in funding for the construction and operation of affordable, accessible housing for the lowest income people through the national Housing Trust Fund. This is more than double last year’s allocation. The HTF is a dedicated resource for building, rehabilitating, and preserving affordable housing for people with the lowest incomes. Pennsylvania will receive $24,134,348, the seventh largest allocation in the United States.
Enacted in the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 (HERA), the national Housing Trust Fund is the first new housing program in a generation dedicated solely to the construction of housing affordable to the lowest-income people. The HTF is a permanent federal program with dedicated funding sources outside of the annual appropriations process. The HTF is funded through a modest annual assessment fee on Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, so it does not compete for funding with other HUD housing programs.
At least 90% of HTF funding must be used for the production, rehabilitation, preservation, or operation of rental housing, while up to 10% can be used for homeownership activities for first-time homebuyers. The HTF is administered through HUD as block grants to states and territories, and funding for each state and territory is determined by the number of extremely and very low-income renters who are severely housing cost-burdened as well as the shortage of rental properties available to extremely and very low-income households.