October 19, 2017
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http://www.rhodeislandhousing.org/

Almost $9 Million in HOME, Housing Trust Fund and Low Income Housing Tax Credit Funding to be Awarded to Build Homes

Funding rounds include first-ever allocation of Housing Trust Fund resources

Providence, RI -- RIHousing is pleased to announce the opening of competitive funding rounds for the HOME Investment Partnership Program (HOME) and the Housing Trust Fund (HTF), initiatives of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

''Rhode Island needs more housing, especially affordable housing. These federal funds will create more affordable housing and generate economic development opportunities in communities across the state. By leveraging federal investments with local resources, cities and towns can enhance housing infrastructure and spur community development,'' said Senator Reed, who wrote the law creating the National Housing Trust Fund in 2008. Reed is a senior member of the Banking Committee, which has jurisdiction over the HTF and HOME programs, and is the Ranking Member of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies (THUD), which appropriates funds for the programs. ''A healthy housing market is key to future economic growth and vibrant neighborhoods where people want to live and work. These federal funds will help the state preserve and increase the number of affordable homes and address the housing crunch. I am proud to have written the law and delivered federal resources for Rhode Island and I will continue working to help cities and towns address some of their greatest needs.''

The corporation anticipates being able to award approximately $6 million in combined HOME and HTF funds for the development of affordable housing for low, very low, and extremely low-income households. This is the first time HTF funds have been awarded in Rhode Island; HTF is a new affordable housing production program that will complement existing federal, state and local efforts to increase and preserve the supply of decent, safe and sanitary affordable housing for extremely low- and very low-income households, including families experiencing homelessness.

''Rhode Island is facing a severe housing crisis. The housing market is hot right now, with the demand for homes exceeding supply. Increased demand means housing prices are rising -- which puts pressure on families struggling to get by,'' said Barbara Fields, Executive Director of RIHousing. ''To meet Rhode Island's growing housing needs, we need to think creatively and utilize every tool available, so we are thrilled to utilize Housing Trust Fund resources for the first time in our state. These federal funding sources will enable RIHousing to increase the production and preservation of homes for working Rhode Island families.''

Eight years after it was authorized by the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 (HERA), the HTF is only now being capitalized through contributions made by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. In December 2014, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) directed these Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs) to begin setting aside and allocating funds to the Housing Trust. In January of 2015, HUD issued interim rules to guide states on how to implement their Housing Trust Funds.

To ensure that Rhode Island and other small states received a fair amount of funding, Senator Reed included a small state minimum of $3 million in the national HTF authorizing legislation.

Since 1992, RIHousing has invested over $94.5 million in HOME funding for housing production and rehabilitation. HOME funding is a flexible tool for developing homes for Rhode Islanders earning no more than 80% of AMI, which is about $52,000 for a family of three. HOME funds have been used to finance the construction or rehabilitation of homes in all 39 Rhode Island cities and towns.

Additionally, RIHousing also announced that the corporation is seeking proposals for 2018 Low Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC), which are used in the financing of construction and/or rehabilitation of properties to be used as affordable rental homes in Rhode Island. RIHousing anticipates the allocation of approximately $2.7 million of LIHTCs.

The LIHTC program is the principal federal program for the construction, rehabilitation and preservation of housing within financial reach for renters. RIHousing has administered the LIHTC program since 1986, financing the development or preservation of more than 11,500 apartments in 29 cities and towns.

About RIHousing
RIHousing works to ensure that all people who live and work in Rhode Island can afford a healthy, attractive home that meets their needs. RIHousing uses its resources to provide loans, grants, education and assistance to help Rhode Islanders find, rent, buy, build and keep a good home. Created by the General Assembly in 1973, RIHousing is a self-sustaining corporation and receives no state funding for operations.

Media Contacts:
Emily Martineau
(401) 450-1309
emartineau@rihousing.com

Kevin Tente
(401) 831-1200
ktente@nharbor.com