The Tennessee Housing Development Agency has just released its report: “Tennessee’s Housing Trust Fund: The First Five Years.” The study documents the ﬁrst ﬁve years of their state housing trust fund and illustrates that the Housing Trust Fund has provided a critical ﬁnancial resource for low income Tennesseans with housing needs across the state. More than 4,000 households have beneﬁtted from the Trust Fund in 94 of state’s 95 counties. The effects are felt both directly by the families served and indirectly through the economic impact of the housing activities taking place throughout the state.
The Tennessee Housing Trust Fund is funded primarily through the Tennessee Housing Development Agency, totaling $30 million since the Fund was started in 2007. For the ﬁrst three years, state appropriations of $4.35 million helped expand the Fund. The Fund has received from $6-$9 million each year from FY2007 to FY2010.
In 2006, the Tennessee Housing Development Agency (THDA) started the state’s Housing Trust Fund to address unmet housing needs in Tennessee.
The Trust Fund supports four major programs. A Homebuyer’s Education Initiative received funding during the ﬁrst two years. There is a special focus on households residing in rural areas and those with elderly or special needs members.
The largest and most ﬂexible program within the Housing Trust Fund is the Competitive Grants Program, which offers grants to nonproﬁts and local governments to support innovative housing solutions. The program funds acquisition, rehabilitation, and new construction for rental and homeownership units as well as downpayment and closing cost assistance for new homebuyers. Since 2007, THDA has awarded 70 grants to non-proﬁts and local governments across the State for a total of approximately $19.8 million. When fully expended, these funds will help 1,469 households.
Based on feedback from local partners, it became clear to THDA staff that too many elderly households in Tennessee were living in substandard housing without the means to pay for necessary repairs, nor the ability to ﬁx the problems themselves. The Trust Fund supports the Emergency Repair Program that helps repair the homes of elderly Tennesseans. Tennessee’s nine Development Districts operate the ERP program. Each Development District is allocated $222,000 each year: $200,000 of these funds are used for program costs and the remainder is used for administration. This program also requires a match of one dollar for every two dollars from the Trust Fund. The maximum ERP funding for one homeowner is $10,000, with the ability for more repair dollars through the matching funds. Since the spring of 2007, THDA has invested $6.6 million and leveraged an additional $4.4 million in the Emergency Repair Program. This $11 million helped provide critical repairs to 1,191 elderly very low-income households in 88 counties.
The Rural Repair Program is administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Rural Development staff and has been supported by THDA since 2004. By adding the state’s Housing Trust Fund dollars to the USDA’s Section 504 Rural Repair program, THDA makes these dollars go further for rural Tennesseans. Rural Repair offers grants and loans to assist rural, low income homeowners who need repairs that will remove health or safety hazards or will help improve accessibility for a homeowner with a disability. THDA Rural Repair grants are available for up to $5,000 for non-elderly, non-disabled homeowners and up to $7,500 for elderly or disabled homeowners. THDA’s Housing Trust Fund has provided more than $3.4 million in repairs for low-income elderly households living in the rural areas of Tennessee.
|Summary of the Total Impact of the Housing Trust Fund on the Tennessee Economy|
|Programs||Employment||Personal Income||Business Revenue||State and Local Taxes|
|Home Modiﬁcation and RAMPS||10||$424,063||$1,154,288||$34,839|
The Housing Modiﬁcation and Ramps Program is designed to assist Tennesseans of low-income with disabilities make their homes accessible. United Cerebral Palsy of Middle Tennessee (UCP) operates the program statewide. HMR provides funds for the construction of ramps for Tennesseans who use wheelchairs to get in and out of their homes and, in FY2010, began including funds for home modiﬁcations to address other accessibility needs. Over the past ﬁve years, THDA has used approximately $550,000 to support the construction
of 723 ramps across 69 counties.
Tennessee’s Housing Trust Fund has not only helped thousands of families, but it has had a major economic impact in the State. While its primary mission is to create safe, sound and affordable housing opportunities, THDA also measures how its expenditures impact Tennessee’s economy.
Over the ﬁrst ﬁve years of the Housing Trust Fund, the programs provided employment opportunities for many individuals. The direct total employment was 409 jobs, primarily in the construction sector. In addition, 412 jobs were created through the ripple effect. Total employment impact was estimated at 821 jobs. Every 100 jobs created by Housing Trust Fund programs and grants, primarily in the construction sector, generated 101 additional jobs throughout the local economy.
Estimated tax revenue for the state and local governments through the Housing Trust Fund programs was $3.6 million. The Housing Trust Fund programs injected into the economy a total of $50.3 million, including matching funds provided by grantees. This spending generated an additional economic impact of $50.2 million (indirect and induced) through business revenue multipliers. The total contribution of the Housing Trust Fund programs to Tennessee’s economy is estimated at $100.4 million. Total personal income generated by the Housing Trust Fund programs from 2006 through 2011 was $34.5 million.
Through the end of FY2011, Trust Fund programs have spent more than $53 million ($23 million dollars of Trust Fund dollars and $30 million in matching funds), and helped more than 4,000 households across the state. This includes approximately 1,500 from the Competitive Grant Program, approximately 2,000 households through the two repair programs, and more than 700 who have received accessibility ramps.
Community Programs Division, Tennessee Housing Development Agency
404 James Robertson Parkway, Suite 1200, Nashville TN 37243