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State Housing Trust Funds

Home is about having fun with friends: Funding from the Washington State HTF and City of Seattle Housing Levy help makes Seattle’s Denise Hunt Townhomes a place for families to thrive (Low Income Housing Institute).

State housing trust funds are, by any measure, the backbone of the housing trust fund world. They demonstrate what is possible, encourage local participation, and build enough momentum to begin having a measurable impact on addressing critical housing needs.

Forty-seven states and the District of Columbia have created fifty-eight housing trust funds. Eight states, Connecticut, Illinois, Massachusetts, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, Oregon and Washington, have created more than one state housing trust fund—reflecting a recognized value in committing public revenues to accomplish precise objectives, such as addressing homelessness or providing rental assistance. For a list of state housing trust funds and the agencies that administer them, click here.

Nine states, Arizona, California, Iowa, Indiana, Massachusetts, Missouri, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Washington, and Wisconsin, have passed legislation that encourages and/or enables local jurisdictions to dedicate public funds to affordable housing.  For more information, see the section on state-enabling legislation.

State housing trust funds collected in excess of $790 million in a single year to advance affordable housing initiatives in their states.  The most common revenue sources collected by state housing trust funds are the real estate transfer tax and the documentary stamp tax — used by twelve states and the District of Columbia. Not all state housing trust funds have dedicated ongoing sources of revenue and four have yet to place any funds into their state trust funds (Alabama, California, Idaho, and Rhode Island). For more information on state revenue sources, click here. The average amount of public and private funds leveraged for every dollar invested in affordable housing by state housing trust funds is nearly $7.00, ranging from a low of $2.00 to a high of $16.00 for individual trust funds.

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