The House has passed a bill by a 264-148 vote that would create a trust fund for the construction, rehabilitation, and preservation of 1.5 million affordable rental units over the next 10 years.The national housing trust fund would tap the government-sponsored enterprises -- Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac -- for the bulk of the trust funds. Surplus revenues from the Federal Housing Administration would also flow to the trust fund. House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank, D-Mass., estimates that the trust fund could distribute $800 million to $1 billion in affordable housing grants to states, local communities, and Indian reservations. "It has been 17 years since the federal government last enacted a major affordable housing production program, and I am pleased that this legislation will tackle the full range of housing crises, providing relief to overburdened renters and homeowners while targeting funds where the need is greatest," said Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif.

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