PROVIDENCE, RI – As part of his long-standing effort to help Rhode Island build more desirable, affordable rental housing units, U.S. Senator Jack Reed today announced another $3,066,413 is heading to the Ocean State courtesy of the national Housing Trust Fund (HTF), a program Reed created back in 2008.

Reed, a senior member of the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee, who also serves as a senior member of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing, Urban Development and Related Agencies (THUD), led the successful effort to create the HTF, which was authorized by the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008.

“There is a real shortage of affordable rental housing.  People need to be able to afford to live in the communities where they work.  This is a smart investment in helping working families and strengthening communities, and it also helps generate jobs and future economic development,” said Senator Reed.  “Rhode Island can use this money to build, preserve, and repair high-quality rental housing for those most in need.  I created the Housing Trust Fund to provide communities with the resources they need to help address the affordable housing shortage.  Workers should be able to live closer to their jobs and spend more time with their families.  Ensuring a healthy housing market is critical to our economic future.”

Reed wrote the law to ensure the Housing Trust Fund would be capitalized through contributions made by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Administered by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the HTF is an affordable housing production and preservation program that will complement existing federal, state, and local efforts to increase and preserve the supply of decent, safe, and sanitary affordable housing for extremely low-income and very low-income households, including homeless families.

To ensure that Rhode Island and other small states received a fair amount of funding, Senator Reed included a small state minimum of $3 million in the authorizing legislation.

To date, HTF has allocated over $3 billion in federal affordable housing assistance to states nationwide, and Rhode Island has now received a total of $24.2 million in federal HTF funding.

The National Low Income Housing Coalition’s (NLIHC) annual Out of Reach report ranked Rhode Island as the 15th most expensive state in the country when comparing the cost of a modest two-bedroom apartment with wages.  The 2022 report showed a minimum wage worker must work about 79 hours a week to afford a modest two-bedroom apartment. 

Overall, HUD is distributing a total of $382 million nationwide through the national Housing Trust Fund this year to build, preserve, and rehabilitate affordable rental housing.

In Rhode Island, Housing Trust Fund dollars are administered and distributed by RIHousing.  Under the law, state affordable housing agencies like RIHousing may use these funds for eligible activities such as real property acquisition, site improvements and development costs, demolition, financing costs, relocation assistance, and operating cost assistance for rental housing, up to 30 percent of each grant.