Press Release: Foster Introduces Legislation to Reform Affordable Housing Funding Formula that Disadvantages Illinois
Washington, DC - Last week, Congressman Bill Foster (D-IL) introduced H.R. 5835, the Fair Distribution of Affordable Housing Funds Act of 2016, to reform the funding formula for affordable housing. The bill would repeal the fixed minimum funding level given to every state by the National Housing Trust Fund and return to a formula based on population and need.
Illinois is an example of a “payer state” that loses about $40 billion annually because citizens of Illinois pay far more in federal taxes than they receive back in federal funding. Much of this discrepancy is caused by federal spending formulas that discriminate against states with large populations. Citizens of states with large populations like Illinois receive less than one tenth of the Affordable Housing Trust Fund assistance per person than citizens of other states with lower populations.
“The Fair Distribution of Affordable Housing Funds Act will provide crucial funding for Illinois residents who rely on affordable housing. Currently, the system does not allocate enough funds to meet their needs because the formula is not fair,” Congressman Foster said. “I’m proud to introduce legislation to make sure affordable housing funding adequately reflects the needs of constituents in Illinois.”
Foster has worked to restore fair budgetary formulas for Illinois residents. In February 2015, Foster introduced the Payer State Transparency Act of 2015. It called on federal agencies to assess the net economic effect of all federal spending programs on individual states. In April 2016, Congressman Foster sent a letter to Department of Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx to ask the Department to award more discretionary grants for transportation funding to payer states like Illinois.
The National Housing Trust Fund was created in 2008 by the Housing and Economic Recovery Act. It is managed by the Department of Housing and Urban Development.