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Housing Trust Funds. Mary E. Brooks Housing Trust Fund Project Center for Community Change 1113 Cougar Court Frazier Park, CA 93225 661-245-0318 mbrooks@communitychange.org. Securing dedicated sources of public revenue. Committing that revenue to support critical housing needs.

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housing trust funds

Housing Trust Funds

Mary E. Brooks

Housing Trust Fund Project

Center for Community Change

1113 Cougar Court

Frazier Park, CA 93225



housing trust funds advancing how we fund affordable housing
Securing dedicated sources of public revenue.

Committing that revenue to support critical housing needs.

Housing Trust Funds: advancing how we fund affordable housing
local housing trust funds
Local housing trust funds


























how housing trust funds work
How Housing Trust Funds Work

Legislation or Ordinance

Establishes the Housing Trust Fund


Agency or Department

Oversight Board

Dedicated Revenue Sources

Taxes or Fees

Program Generated Revenue

Interest Earned

Other Revenues


Distribution of Funds

Program Requirements

Eligible Applicants

Eligible Uses



  • Virtually all housing trust funds are administered by staff of a public agency or department.
      • Staff are responsible for: day to day operations of the fund; assisting the Board; preparation of program materials; technical assistance to potential applicants; initial review of applications; monitoring project compliance; etc.
      • Administrative costs are paid for either from housing trust fund revenues or other departmental funds.
  • Most housing trust funds have some kind of oversight board.
      • They may be either decision-making or advisory boards.
      • They develop program guidelines; manage funds; approve funding awards; and conduct annual evaluation reports.
      • These boards are appointed and have broad representation from the affordable housing community.


  • Funds are awarded either through a request for proposal process; a notification of funding availability; or direct funding of specific programs.
  • Funds are available either as grants or loans and/or other sources of financing.
  • The application process may be combined with other available sources of affordable housing funds, such as: HOME, CDBG, etc.

We Need the People

Who Need Affordable Housing


Program Requirements

  • Eligible Applicants: nonprofit developers, for-profit developers, housing authorities, governments, Native American tribes, etc.
  • Eligible Uses: acquisition, new construction, rehabilitation, predevelopment costs, housing related services, operating costs, capacity building, rental assistance, foreclosure assistance, etc.
  • Application Requirements: income targeting to control who benefits, long term affordability, accessibility, leveraging, etc.

Dedicated Public Revenues

  • 1. Identify a goal--$10 million annually for the Metro Louisville Housing Trust Fund.
  • 2. Get an attitude! The revenue is there—determine what is necessary to dedicate it. No one should be on the Task Force who is not willing to explore every source.
  • Identify all possibilities. Check out what others have done.
  • Consider different approaches: increasing a revenue source; dedicating existing revenues; or committing the growth in revenues
  • Select your best options.
why dedicate public revenues to affordable housing
Why Dedicate Public Revenues to Affordable Housing
  • Affordable housing is fundamental to the health of any city.
  • The private market cannot respond to homes that require subsidies.
  • Affordable housing needs are constant as long as wages continue to lag behind.
  • Affordable housing requires long-term planning and investment.
  • Affordable housing cannot be dependent on budget surpluses.
cities and counties commit public revenue sources
Cities and Counties CommitPublic Revenue Sources

County Deed Tax (real estate transfer tax)

Dade County, Florida

Howard County, Maryland

Aspen, Colorado

Washington, D.C.

Building Permit Fees

Bainbridge Island, Washington

Motor Vehicle Rental Usage Tax

Tax Increment Financing

Berkeley, California

Los Angeles, California

Portland, Oregon

Condominium Conversion Fee

Long Beach, California

Los Angeles, California

Montgomery County, Maryland

Dilapidated Housing Fee

Hotel/Motel Tax

Long Beach, California

Los Angeles, California

Delinquent Property Taxes

Occupancy Tax and Business Tax

Impact Fee

Common in California

Cambridge, Massachusetts

Boston, Massachusetts

Alexandria, Virginia

Fairfax County, Virginia

Property Tax

Boulder, Colorado

Greensboro, North Carolina

Burlington, Vermont

Seattle, Washington

Sales Tax

St. Paul, Minnesota

Sale of City Owned Land

Montgomery County, Maryland

Ramsey County, Minnesota

Boulder, Colorado

milwaukee task force report
Milwaukee Task Force Report

Available to the City

Tax Increment District funds

City’s Bonding Authority

Fee or Surcharge on Downtown Parking Spaces

Proceeds from the Sale of City Land

Portion of Bingo Casino Revenues

Revenues from Franchise Agreements on Fiber Networks (unlikely)

Revenues from City leased land

Available to the City with State Legislation

Developer Impact Fees

Real Estate Transfer Tax

Surcharge on Tickets for Entertainment Events

Hotel/Motel Tax

Income Tax Credit for Contributions

The City found $70 million to fix their house– Now what about our houses?

chicago creates low income housing trust fund
All funding supports households earning 30% of area median income or less.Chicago Creates Low Income Housing Trust Fund

A majority of the funds provide rental assistance.

Funds also support homeless initiatives and essential services.

chicago low income housing trust fund
Chicago Low-Income Housing Trust Fund
  • The Fund supports four programs:
  • Rental Subsidy Program—annual subsidies to reduce rents for some units in a building.
  • Families First Initiative—wrap-around social services and permanent housing leading to self-sufficiency.
  • Affordable Rents for Chicago—interest-free forgivable loan to replace private funding; used to reduce rents of very low income tenants.
  • Supportive Housing Program for the Continuum of Care—rental assistance and package of supportive services for homeless.
  • In 2004, the Fund provided more than $10 million to assist 2,000 low-income households.
chicago low income housing trust fund17
Chicago Low Income Housing Trust Fund
  • 15 member Board of Directors is appointed by the Mayor. Represents city government, nonprofit organizations, private corporations, and city residents. The Board manages the Fund.
  • Staffed through the Department of Housing.
  • Awards approximately $10 million a year from city corporate funds and other sources.
st louis voters approve affordable housing trust fund
St. Louis Voters Approve Affordable Housing Trust Fund
  • 58% of the voters approved use tax for housing trust fund and a health trust fund.
  • The Commission provides grants and loans to non-profit agencies and developers that provide housing related services or construction/rehab housing for city residents.
st louis affordable housing trust fund
St. Louis Affordable Housing Trust Fund

The mission is:"To promote City living and neighborhood stabilization through the preservation of affordable, accessible housing and support services that enhance the quality of life for those in need."

The staff: an executive director, senior housing analyst, administrative assistant, and accounting clerk.

The Commission: 11 members appointed by the Mayor.

st louis affordable housing trust fund20
St. Louis Affordable Housing Trust Fund

40% of the funds must serve households earning no more than 20% of the area median income.

Awards $4-5 million each year. In 2005:

Accessibility modifications: $160,000

Education/Training: $260,000

Rent/Mortgage/Utility aid: $471,000

Home Repair: $628,000

Homeless Prevention/shelter: $1,270,000

Rehab/renovations/lead abatement: $143,000

Rent/mortgage/utility subsidy: $638,000

Transitional housing: $1,006,000

seattle advocates win housing levy for 4th time
Seattle Advocates Win Housing Levy for 4th Time
  • 54% of Seattle voters approved continuation of property tax support for affordable housing.
  • The new 2002 levy will produce 2,000+ affordable homes.
  • Provides $86 million over the next seven years.
seattle 2002 housing levy
Seattle 2002 Housing Levy

Rental Preservation & Production

$56.1 m 1522 units


$7.8 m 326 units

Neighborhood Housing Opportunity Program

$7.2 m 196 units

Rental Assistance

$2.8 m 500 households

Operation & Maintenance

$7.8 m


$4.5 m

TOTAL: $86.0 m 2,044 units

The Levy costs the average homeowner about $49 a year.

seattle housing levy program
Seattle Housing Levy Program
  • Administered by the Seattle Office of Housing.
  • Levy Oversight Committee is appointed by City Council with representation from civic leaders and concerned citizens.
  • Citizens Advisory Committee is formed by the Office of Housing, with advice from key stakeholders such as housing advocates and neighborhood groups.
philadelphia housing trust fund
Philadelphia Housing Trust Fund
  • State legislation enabled the city/county to increase its document recording fee.
  • $15 million annually expected.
  • One half of the funds are committed to those that earn no more than 30% of the area median income.
  • Specific targets are established for accessibility and visitability.
  • 65% of the funds are to support new construction; 30% to preservation; and 5% to homeless prevention.
philadelphia housing trust fund25
Philadelphia Housing Trust Fund
  • $6 million was awarded in its first round of funding supporting 465 units of affordable housing.
  • The Trust Fund Oversight Board has eight appointments—four are community representatives.
  • A report by Econsult Corporation identified $85 million of economic impact on Philadelphia each year from the Housing Trust Fund.
indianapolis housing trust fund
Indianapolis Housing Trust Fund
  • State authorized housing trust fund in 2000.
  • In 2004, Mayor Bart Peterson promised $2 million.
  • In 2006, fees from electronic filing of property sales disclosure forms were committed to the fund.
  • Mayor Peterson calls this a “first step.”
indianapolis housing trust fund27
Indianapolis Housing Trust Fund
  • An 11-member housing trust fund advisory committee, appointed by the Mayor, oversees operation of the trust fund.
  • The Fund is staffed by the Department of Metropolitan Development.
indianapolis housing trust fund28
Indianapolis Housing Trust Fund

At least half of the funds must serve those earning no more than 50% of the area median income.

  • The Fund provides financial assistance to rent or purchase a home; for the development or rehabilitation of housing; administrative costs of the fund; and technical assistance to nonprofits.
  • The Committee makes recommendations on funding, approved by the Metropolitan Development Commission and Council.
indianapolis housing trust fund29
Indianapolis Housing Trust Fund
  • In 2005, the Fund awarded $300,000 in grants to three local organizations. Each received a matching grant from the Central Indiana Community Foundation.
  • These funds will assist more than 100 families in housing crisis.
columbus franklin county affordable housing trust
Columbus/Franklin CountyAffordable Housing Trust
  • Created in 2001 with a commitment of hotel/motel tax from the City. A year later, the County added funds. In 2005, the County increased its real estate transfer tax and committed the increase to the fund.
  • The Fund is established as a nonprofit corporation with an 11-member Board of Trustees.
columbus franklin county affordable housing trust31
Columbus/Franklin County Affordable Housing Trust

The Fund has committed more than $14.5 million, helping to provide some 1,550 homes.

For each housing trust dollar committed, another $11.50 is leveraged in other public and private dollars.

The Fund anticipates receiving $4 million each year from City and County revenues.

housing trust funds give affordable housing a new face
Housing trust funds give affordable housing a new face
  • Recognize that the most critical housing needs must be addressed.
  • Incorporate sustainable housing principles: accessibility, long-term affordability, green housing.
  • Leverage funding ($1:$5-10) bringing in additional resources to Louisville.
housing is good for the economy
Housing is good for the Economy

Lee County, Florida documented that the need for more affordable housing costs the County more than $249 million annually!

The argument shifts …

  • The economic impact of Philadelphia’s trust fund is expected to reach:
  • Nearly 2,600 jobs statewide each year.
  • $80 million in wages every year.
  • Increased city and state taxes.

NAHB documents 1,000 multi-family homes generates 1,000+ full time jobs, $33.5 million in wages, and $17.8 million in tax revenues and fees.

housing is good for communities
Housing is Good for Communities
  • Education:
    • Higher school-mobility rates affect the entire system and cause the most harm to children whose families have low incomes.
    • Housing instability can have a direct impact on a child’s education.
    • Frequent moves can have a negative effect on school achievement.
  • Health:
  • Pest infestation is known to cause asthma.
  • Substandard electrical problems are a danger to children.
  • Lead poisoning leads to a decrease in IQs.
  • Children living in inadequate housing have increased hospitalizations and respiratory infections.
housing is essential to businesses
Housing is Essential to Businesses
  • Businesses locate where housing is available for employees.
  • Families want to live near where they work.
  • Neighborhood revitalization follows housing improvements.
  • City and essential service employees need affordable housing.
the sustainability of housing trust funds
The Sustainability of Housing Trust Funds
  • An on-going government commitment of public funds.
  • A community-based process to create and sustain the fund.
  • A component of housing policy that drives innovation and cooperation.
  • A flexible model that can adapt to changing market conditions.