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What Are Housing Trust Funds?

Housing trust funds are distinct funds established by city, county or state governments that receive ongoing dedicated sources of public funding to support the preservation and production of affordable housing and increase opportunities for families and individuals to access decent affordable homes.  Housing trust funds systemically shift affordable housing funding from annual budget allocations to the commitment of dedicated public revenue.   While housing trust funds can also be a repository for private donations, they are not public/private partnerships, nor are they endowed funds operating from interest and other earnings.

There are now 47 states with housing trust funds, as well as the District of Columbia, and more than 600 city and county housing trust funds in operation. They dedicate nearly $1 billion annually to help address critical housing needs throughout the country.  Over the last few years, fifteen new housing trust funds have been created and more than a dozen housing trust funds have been able to increase their funds. Click here for a list of Housing Trust Funds in the United States.

Housing trust funds are extremely flexible and can be used to support innovative ways to address many types of housing needs. The model can work in virtually any situation.  They have been created to serve small towns of about 1000 people as well as in the largest states in the country. These funds are also very efficient. Many housing trust funds report highly successful track records addressing a wide range of critical housing needs.

This website provides information about existing housing trust funds and strategies to help you craft a proposal for a housing trust fund and develop a campaign to advance it. It includes profiles of some of the most successful models that have been created across the country, and case studies describing their development.  For more information about the topics covered here, see our publications.  For more detailed information regarding the current status of housing trust funds, see our Housing Trust Fund Progress Report 2007.  To  request specific technical assistance, please visit our technical assistance page.

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