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Housing trust funds

Health Factors: Housing & Transit
Decision Makers: Community Development Professionals Employers & Businesses Local Government State Government
Evidence Rating: Expert Opinion
Population Reach: 50-99% of WI's population
Impact on Disparities: Likely to decrease disparities

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Description

Housing trust funds (HTFs) work to facilitate affordable, quality housing by creating or maintaining low income housing; subsidizing rental housing; and supporting non-profit housing developers. Trust funds may also assist low income homebuyers through down payment support, counseling, or interest subsidies and may provide “gap financing.” Housing trust funds exist at federal, state, county, and city levels.

Expected Beneficial Outcomes

Increased access to affordable housing
Increased access to quality housing

Evidence of Effectiveness

Housing trust funds (HTFs) are a suggested strategy to increase affordable, quality housing options (Urban-Newman 2005, APA-Meck 2003) and minimize the displacement of low income residents that can follow such neighborhood improvements (Damewood 2011). Housing improvements have been shown to positively affect health outcomes, especially when improvements address warmth and energy efficiency (Thomson 2015). HTFs may help meet low income housing needs, including the needs of the lowest income families (Larsen 2004); program funds are typically designated for these families (Scally 2012). In a Florida-based study, HTFs appear to increase affordable housing initiatives across the state, from rural counties to large urban centers (Larsen 2009). However, additional evidence is needed to confirm effects.

Implementation

United States

There are nearly 700 local housing trust funds (HTFs) in 47 states which generate over $500 million annually to support affordable homes (CCC-HTF). Washington, DC’s Housing Production Trust Fund is an example of a fund focused on a metropolitan area (Lovells 2014). Non-profit organizations may also manage housing trust funds on a larger scale: the National Housing Trust preserves and improves affordable housing in 41 states (NHT). State-level housing trust funds are often administered by governmental housing finance agencies (Scally 2012).

A national HTF is permanently authorized by the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 (NCSHA-HTF). The US Department of Housing and Urban Development (US HUD) continues to develop guidance and training for this program; grantees were expected to receive funding in the summer of 2016 (US HUD-HTF). 

Wisconsin

Wisconsin grantees for national Housing Trust Fund support through HUD are managed by the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority (US HUD-NHTF grantees). Milwaukee is an example of a community with a local HTF (Milwaukee-HTF).

Implementation Resources

ChangeLab-Housing toolkit 2015 - ChangeLab Solutions. Preserving, protecting, and expanding affordable housing: A policy toolkit for public health. 2015. Accessed on October 24, 2016
LISC-Affordable housing - Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC). Helping neighbors build communities: Affordable housing. Accessed on May 19, 2017
PolicyLink-HTFs 2001 - PolicyLink. Equitable development toolkit: Housing trust funds. 2001. Accessed on January 26, 2016
US HUD-HTF - US Department of Housing and Urban Development (US HUD). Housing Trust Fund (HTF). HUD Exchange. Accessed on February 23, 2017

Citations - Evidence

APA-Meck 2003 - Meck S, Retzlaff R, Schwab J. Regional approaches to affordable housing. Washington, DC: American Planning Association (APA); 2003: Report No. 513/514. Accessed on November 30, 2015
Damewood 2011 - Damewood R, Young-Laing B. Strategies to prevent displacement of residents and businesses in Pittsburgh's Hill District. September 2011. Accessed on October 12, 2016
Larsen 2004 - Larsen K. State housing trust funds in the US: A comparative study. In: Adequate & Affordable Housing for All. Toronto, CAN: Centre for Urban and Community Studies, University of Toronto; 2004. Accessed on February 24, 2016
Larsen 2009* - Larsen K. Reassessing state housing trust funds: Results of a Florida survey. Housing Studies. 2009;24(2):173–201. Accessed on February 24, 2016
Scally 2012 - Scally CP. The past and future of housing policy innovation: The case of US state housing trust funds. Housing Studies. 2012;27(1):127-150. Accessed on August 10, 2016
Thomson 2015 - Thomson H, Thomas S. Developing empirically supported theories of change for housing investment and health. Social Science & Medicine. 2015;124:205-214. Accessed on July 27, 2016
Urban-Newman 2005 - Newman SJ. Low-end rental housing: The forgotten story in Baltimore’s housing boom. Washington, DC: Urban Institute; 2005. Accessed on May 24, 2016

Citations - Implementation

CCC-HTF - Center for Community Change (CCC). Housing trust fund (HTF) implementation information and resources. Accessed on January 13, 2016
Lovells 2014 - Lovells H, Biddle L, Edwards-Ford M, et al. Unfulfilled promises: Affordable housing in metropolitan Washington. Washington, DC: Washington Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights & Urban Affairs; 2014. Accessed on January 13, 2016
Milwaukee-HTF - City of Milwaukee. Housing trust fund. Accessed on March 3, 2016
NCSHA-HTF - National Council of State Housing Agencies (NCSHA). Housing trust fund. Accessed on March 14, 2016
NHT - National Housing Trust (NHT). Safeguarding affordable housing + strengthening communities. Accessed on January 13, 2016
Scally 2012 - Scally CP. The past and future of housing policy innovation: The case of US state housing trust funds. Housing Studies. 2012;27(1):127-150. Accessed on August 10, 2016
US HUD-HTF - US Department of Housing and Urban Development (US HUD). Housing Trust Fund (HTF). HUD Exchange. Accessed on February 23, 2017
US HUD-NHTF grantees - US Department of Housing and Urban Development (US HUD). National Housing Trust Fund (NHTF) grantees: State agencies and state-designated entities. HUD Exchange. Accessed on February 27, 2017

Page Last Updated

August 10, 2016

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