By Byron Shehee
Alabama Political Reporter
MONTGOMERY—The Low Income Housing Coalition of Alabama (LIHCA) released a report on Monday identifying the potential statewide economic impact of a well-funded Alabama Housing Trust Fund.
Representative Patricia Todd and other players from the housing coalition provided an overview of the report. The State coalition was created in 2012 and maintains that the Alabama Housing Trust Fund could be used to build and renovate homes in Alabama for needy families if properly funded. In order to address the shortfall in funding, Rep. Todd is set to introduce a measure this session that would dedicate $20 million annually to the Alabama Housing Trust Fund.
LIHCA commissioned the report to provide lawmakers and development officials with the economic magnitude of what a $20 million annual investment in the Alabama Housing Trust Fund could help families throughout Alabama.
Based on estimates from the National Low Income Housing Coalition, Alabama lacks nearly 90,000 available homes for individuals and families living with extremely low incomes that those families can afford. Information also indicates that it is becoming more difficult for low-income resident to obtain adequate housing.
Proponents state that housing trust funds around the nation could provide affordable housing opportunities to families across the nation and generate roughly $750 million nationwide. Supporters also say the housing trust funds could serve as economic development tools by producing jobs and creating safe and stable homes.
LIHCA was created to address the housing crisis in Alabama and to increase housing opportunities for those with the greatest financial need, but it remains to be seen how excited other members of the legislature might be to find funding for the state’s trust fund given the current budget concerns.