HUD releases $219M for affordable housing trust fund

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WASHINGTON — The Department of Housing and Urban Development released $219 million in funds this week to provide housing for the country's lowest-income families.

It marks the second year that the Housing Trust Fund, which was created by Congress in 2008, has distributed funds to the states to provide housing for the poor and homeless.

But it may also be the final year this happens. Under the budget proposal submitted by the Trump administration, the Housing Trust Fund would not receive money. HUD Secretary Ben Carson has tried to assure housing advocates that some of the funding cuts will be replaced by funding from an infrastructure bill that the Trump administration is working on.

In 2016, the first $174 million in funding was allocated to states for "producing, preserving, and rehabilitating rental housing for extremely low income, households, those with incomes at or below 30% of area median income, or less than the federal poverty guidelines," according to the National Low Income Housing Coalition.

The funding comes from a 4.2 basis points fee paid by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac for each dollar of loans they purchase from lenders.

"The National Low Income Housing Coalition applauds the release of Fiscal Year 2017 allocations of state-by-state funding levels for the national Housing Trust Fund," Diane Yentel, the coalition's president, said in a press release.

The coalition led a national campaign for nearly two decades to create and fund the Housing Trust Fund. "We are equally committed to continuing our work to protect, preserve and expand this critical funding source," Yentel said.

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