The significant contributions of the federal HOME program are highlighted in a new report.
States and communities have invested $26 billion in HOME funds, leveraging an additional $117 billion in public and private resources. This has helped build or preserve nearly 1.2 million affordable homes and provide direct rental assistance to 270,000 families at risk of homelessness since 1992, according to Building HOME: The HOME Investment Partnerships Program’s Impact on America’s Families and Communities.
The report estimates that this investment has supported 1.5 million jobs and has generated $94.2 billion in local income.
Despite this impressive record, Congress has slashed funding for HOME by 50% in recent years—from $1.8 billion in 2010 to an all-time low of $900 million in 2015.
This trend looks to continue. In its fiscal 2016 spending plan, the House Appropriations Committee has proposed cutting HOME funds to $767 million or 58% less than in 2010. The House also proposes to essentially eliminate another important resource for local communities—the National Housing Trust Fund—and uses this funding to push HOME back to its record low of $900 million. The Senate proposes to severely cut HOME by 93% to just $66 million, essentially eliminating the program.
The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) reports that if the Senate bill is enacted, approximately 36,000 fewer affordable homes will be built or preserved and nearly 8,200 fewer families will be able to access critical rental assistance annually.
HOME is a federal block grant program and “the only federal housing program exclusively focused on providing states and local communities with flexible financing to address their most pressing affordable housing needs.”
The report notes that HOME has been an important source of gap financing for low-income housing tax credit developments. Approximately one in four (25%) LIHTC developments use HOME dollars.
The 60-page report comes from the HOME Coalition, which is made up of affordable housing developers and industry associations.
Read the report to learn more about the program’s activities and economic impact in all 50 states.