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WASHINGTON, DC-The House of Representatives has passed the National Affordable Housing Trust Fund Act of 2007. The result of a longstanding campaign by housing advocates, this act will fund the development or rehabilitation of 1.5 million affordable homes in 10 years. At least 75% of the funds will be reserved for households that are extremely low income, earning less than 30% of an area’s median income. A bill is expected to be introduced in the Senate before the end of this session in November or December.

“Congratulations and thanks to Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) and other leaders in the House who supported this important bipartisan bill,” says Sheila Crowley, president of the National Low Income Housing Coalition. “This is a great moment for the millions of American families and elderly or disabled people whose well-being are compromised every day because they cannot afford even modest safe and healthy homes.”

The House voted 264 to 148 to pass H.R. 2895, in part due to the intense lobbying by the NLIHC, which has been working since 2001 to establish a national housing trust fund, which the Congressional Budget Office estimates have a combined value of $800 million to $1 billion a year.

The House has already passed two sources of funding for fund: the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and the expansion of the Federal Housing Administration’s home equity conversion mortgage product. This is not enough to meet the fund’s goal of 1.5 million homes, so other dedicated sources of funding will have to be added.

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