Sneak Preview: HUD Seeks Comments on Housing Trust Fund

March 20, 2015 | By Jerry Ashworth | Post a Comment

xgran_bookshot(The following was excerpted from an article in the Federal Grants Management Handbook.) Officials with the Department of Housing and Urban Development encouraged state and local low-income housing representatives to stay abreast of new regulations and program developments from HUD that can affect their housing programs.

Speaking to attendees recently at the National Low Income Housing Coalition’s 2015 Housing Legislative Forum in Washington, D.C., Marion Mollegen McFadden, deputy assistance secretary for Grant Programs at HUD’s Office of Community Planning and Development, said her office is now accepting comments on an interim rule that provides program regulations and establishes the allocation formula for the National Housing Trust Fund (HTF).

Created by the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 (Pub. L.110-289), the HTF provides funds to construct, rehabilitate and preserve rental homes and allow for homeownership for extremely low- and very low-income families. At least 75 percent of the funds for rental housing must benefit extremely low-income households and 25 percent of the funds must benefit very low-income households. Comments on the interim rule, issued Jan. 30, are due to HUD by March 31.

Many program requirements for the HTF are similar to the HOME Investment Partnerships Program. The HOME program provides formula grants to state and local governments that communities use — often partnering with local nonprofit groups — to build, buy and/or rehabilitate affordable housing for rent or homeownership or provide direct rental assistance to low-income people. However, McFadden emphasized to conference attendees that the HTF “does not duplicate the HOME program or supplant it as a funding source in any way.”

States and state-designated entities are eligible grantees for the HTF. Annual formula grants will be made, of which at least 80 percent must be used for rental housing; up to 10 percent for homeownership; and up to 10 percent for the grantee’s reasonable administrative and planning costs. Later this year, states may begin developing their HTF allocation plans and submit them to HUD. McFadden said that the agency anticipates that grant recipients will receive their HTF allocations by summer 2016.

(The full version of this story has now been made available to all for a limited time on Thompson’s Grants Compliance Expert site).

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