Home is the foundation for families. But according to the National Low Income Housing Coalition, more than 7.1 million American households find even a modest rental home is unaffordable and unavailable. In the United States, families are too often faced with the choice of paying rent or buying groceries.
The National Housing Trust Fund (NHTF) was established as a provision of the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008. The passage of NHTF legislation was a major victory for the lowest-income people in our country. The NHTF provides states and communities with funds to build, preserve, and rehabilitate rental homes that are affordable for extremely low-income households. Many states and localities have also established trust funds to complement efforts to address low-income housing concerns. To date, the NHTF has yet to be fully funded. Housing advocates are now seeking funding for the NHTF through mortgage interest deduction and housing finance reform, reestablishment of Freddie and Fannie contributions, and appropriations included in the 2014 federal budget.
To date, the NHT and its affiliates have accomplished much:
- Helped to save more than 25,000 affordable apartments in 42 states
- Preserved more than 5,700 affordable apartments through real-estate development
- Helped to save nearly 7,000 affordable apartments through lending
- Helped to save more than 13,300 affordable apartments through technical assistance
- Made loans totaling more than $8.7 million
- Leveraged more than $1 billion in financing
The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) has endorsed the NHT, as have 11 PC(USA) congregations and presbyteries. In addition, the PC(USA)’s Office of Public Witness is actively working to promote theNHTF.
—Douglas G. Grace, MDiv, STM, director, Ecumenical Advocacy Days for Global Peace with Justice
Let us pray
Dear Lord, thank you for the gift of shelter and home. Challenge us to find ways to extend this gift as we work together to create just, sustainable communities for all. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.