From the Arkansas Statehouse...

Legislators push for housing trust fund.

In Housing on 2 March 2009 at 12:56 pm

Calling attention to a bill filed two weeks ago, a team of lawmakers held a press conference this morning to introduce legislation that would create a trust fund to expand low-income housing. The fund, which would be run through the Arkansas Development Finance Authority, would be dispersed to local governments, housing authorities, nonprofits and for-profit housing developers whose projects assist homeowners making less than 80% of the statewide median household income.

The bill lists several types of projects that would be eligible for the fund’s assistance. They include construction, land acquisition, assistance with down payments and foreclosure counseling.

It is currently unclear where the money will come from to pay for the proposed program. But Rep. David Rainey, who is one of two House members to sponsor the bill, said the source of funding is less important right now than setting up the trust fund’s structure. Money could come from a number of places, including state appropriation, private donation and federal assistance.

“This is something that should benefit people across the state,” Rep. Rainey said. He said he was unaware of anyone opposed to the bill. “I think there will be a groundswell of support.”

According to Housing Arkansas, a group lobbying for the bill’s passage, housing trust funds exist in 38 other states.

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