Housing Trust Fund

Housing Trust Funds

Many policy leaders are increasingly aware of the limited availability of affordable housing for lower income residents, and the critical need to find ways to increase the supply of low-cost housing. Affordable housing trust funds are public sector tools used to direct financial resources to the development of affordable housing for low income households. At present, there are more than 600 housing trust funds in the United States.

The City of Ashland established its Housing Trust Fund in 2008  (Ordinance 2966 and Resolution 2008-34).

The purpose of the City of Ashland s Affordable Housing Trust Fund AHTF is to establish a dedicated source of revenue to provide ongoing funding for housing projects, or programs, that address the housing needs of Ashland residents. To this end the AHTF was established to address the primary purpose of encouraging the creation of housing for homeownership or rent at a cost that will enable low and moderate income families to afford quality housing while paying no more than thirty per cent of gross household income on housing.

Establishment of a dedicated source of revenue for the Housing Trust Fund is an ongoing goal of the Ashland Housing Commission and the City.  To date the City has dedicated rehabilitation loan repayments to the HTF (Resolution 2008-33), however to make the HTF sustainable in the long term a recurring revenue stream remains the goal.

Should you have questions about this endeavor please contact Linda Reid, Housing Program specialist by phone (552-2043) or email (reidl@ashland.or.us)

General Information about Housing Trust Funds:

The housing trust fund model is an innovative departure from the way that dollars have historically been secured to support affordable housing. Housing Trust funds typically have these three components in common:

1) commit public sources of revenue;
2) create dedicated, ongoing funding for the support of affordable housing;
3) do not depend on interest or earning from a fixed fund, or on contributions from corporations, financial institutions or foundations.

HTFs provide a stable and steady source of funding for affordable housing. Trust funds enable jurisdictions to design housing programs and provide housing developers with a dependable source of funding to support projects. These funds can be used for a variety of purposes including, but not limited to:

Creation and maintenance of affordable housing

Homebuyer assistance: Including counseling, down payment and mortgage assistance, and interest subsidies.

Subsidized rental housing: Assisting families with rent vouchers or creating below-market rental units.

Safety net housing: Creating and improving homeless shelters.

Gap financing: Providing dollars to complete a financial package, when all other funding sources are secured.

Loan source: Providing start up and dependable cash flow to housing developers (cushioning the less-timely nature of other public funding sources).

Support for nonprofit housing developers: Providing pre-development funds to secure land and assist with financial packaging, housing design, and management.

Leverage additional resources: Providing "matching" funds that other public or private resources may require.

Because HTFs are created locally using public revenues, they should be structured to address priority issues in a community. For example, funds initially can be targeted to fix up vacant homes for homeownership opportunities, and later shifted to address other needs. This flexibility in design is one of the most attractive features of a housing trust fund.

Further Information

The following websites provide considerable information on the structure and uses of Housing Trust Funds:

     PolicyLink           Center for Community Change

Housing Trust Fund Examples and Studies

Listing of City Housing Trust Funds

Listing of State Housing Trust Fund websites

Berkeley, California Burlington, Vermont
Santa Cruz, California San Diego, California
Long Beach, California (study)


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