National Housing Trust Fund

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) National Housing Trust Fund (NHTF) program complements existing federal, state and local efforts to build, preserve and rehabilitate affordable housing for families and individuals with the lowest incomes – those earning at or below 30 percent of the area median income (AMI). 

  • NHTF was created as part of the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 (HERA).
  • NHTF is a dedicated program, not subject to Congressional appropriations. 
    Funding for the NHTF comes from an assessment on loans made by Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae.
  • On January 30, 2015, HUD published an interim rule (FR-5246-I-03 and at 24 CFR Parts 91 and 93), which provided the guidelines for states to implement the NHTF program during the first year’s allocation.
  • HUD plans to issue the NHTF Final Rule after states have had experience administering the program and are able to offer comments regarding the initial implementation.

Another HUD program used to preserve and create affordable housing for low-income households is the HOME program. Learn more about HOME.

Washington's NHTF Program

The Department of Commerce (Commerce) administers the NHTF program in Washington State.

Funds are awarded to non-profit organizations, housing authorities, and local and tribal governments through the state Housing Trust Fund (HTF) application process.

Commerce’s NHTF program is governed by the Consolidated Plan and Action Plan

The Consolidated Plan is a five-year planning document required by HUD. The most recent plan is the 2015-2019 Consolidated Plan. It identifies current state NHTF-funded activities, which include preservation and development of low-income rental housing.

Every spring an annual Action Plan is developed to describe how the state will use the year’s annual allocation of HUD formula funds to meet affordable housing and community development needs. Action Plans are annual amendments to the five-year Consolidated Plan and encompasses all HUD programs, including NHTF. 

The 2019 Action Plan was open to receive input, during a 30-day public comment period and a public hearing, in the month of April of 2019. Proposed changes drafted in the Plan include how the HUD program funds are allocated for the 2019 funding year. The final 2019 Action Plan submitted to HUD can be found here.

State Updating National Housing Trust Fund Handbooks

The Department of Commerce is currently working to update the Washington State’s HOME and National Housing Trust Fund Handbooks. Working together with a federal programs consulting specialist, Commerce created individual handbooks for the two federal HUD programs that are targeted toward specific end users. The handbooks clarify program and compliance requirements for the HOME and National Housing Trust Fund programs administered by the Department of Commerce.

  • The handbook titled “Program Guidelines” focuses on the overall program intent, application process, financing terms, and is directed primarily to applicants/owners.
  • The handbook titled “Rental Management Handbook” provides more detail on compliance and reporting requirements, expanding the Compliance and Asset management of the programs.

Handbook drafts can be reviewed here:

Commerce solicited for input on the handbook drafts through a public comment period from April 1 through April 15, 2021. The final version of the handbooks are anticipated to be released by mid-May.