This article discusses the National Housing Trust Fund, created as part of the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 (HERA). The Housing Trust Fun represents a new federal housing development policy. The Fund is designed to serve the approximately 18.5 million households who make less than $30,000 per year, roughly half the national median income in 2005. After a review of the housing affordability concerns of extremely low-income households (annual income 30% or less than area median income) and the impact the subprime mortgage foreclosure has had on such households, the article summarizes HERA's regulatory reform and foreclosure relief provisions and reviews the Housing Trust Fund provision.
The Article concludes that the Fund's focus on the extremely low-income cohort (households making, on average, less than $18,000 per year) is the appropriate focus for federal housing development policy. The Housing Trust Fund responds to the housing concerns of persons who have the least ability to compete for affordable and decent housing in the private market and for whom homeownership may be an unrealistic dream. The creation of a dedicated source of funds, while modest in amount at the outset, acknowledges the great difficulty that supporters of housing programs for extremely-low income persons have had in the give-and-take of the legislative process, and it makes a strong policy statement - that the federal government has an important role to play in improving the housing conditions of this segment of the populace.
Salsich, Peter W., National Affordable Housing Trust Fund Legislation: The Subprime Mortgage Crisis Also Hits Renters (2009). Georgetown Journal on Poverty Law Policy, Vol. 16, No. 1, 2009, Saint Louis U. Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2009-08.