Efforts are underway at the national level to fund the National Housing Trust Fund. The House of Representatives recently passed the “Jobs for Main Street Act” (HR 2847) which would provide $1 billion for the National Housing Trust Fund, as well as $65 million for project-based housing voucher programs. However, whether these funds will be included in the Senate version of the bill is still unclear.
A National Housing Trust Fund (NHTF) would provide significant benefit to Oregon. As the bill stands currently, the bill would provide $15 million to Oregon per $1 billion allocated to the trust fund. These funds would be used to provide housing to those at the lowest incomes – 30% of area median income or lower. We here in Oregon know that housing gives people an opportunity to build better lives, and we believe that funding the NHTF would provide much needed resources to Oregon.
We want to thank our Senators, especially Senator Jeff Merkley, who recently initiated a letter to President Obama asking that $1 billion for the National Housing Trust Fund be included in the President’s budget that he will submit to Congress on February 1. Senator Merkley has asked fellow Senators to sign the letter with him. Senator Wyden of Oregon has signed on as well.
Other efforts are moving forward to ensure the Senate provides funding for the National Housing Trust Fund, including a letter by Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) which asks fellow Senators to request that the Senate also provide $1 billion for the NHTF and $65 million in housing vouchers. Read the letter here.
Want to help? Be sure to contact Senator Merkley and thank him for his work to date to make funding for the NHTF a reality. You can also ask whether Senator Merkley is planning to sign onto the letter from Senator Reed. Senator Wyden has already signed on to this letter.
Want to learn more? Check out the Center for Community Change website or listen to the audio of a call hosted on Tuesday, 1/19/2010 by the National Low Income Housing Coalition in which their President, Sheila Crowley brings us up to date on the latest news.