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Housing Trust Fund Program (HTF)

About the Housing Trust Fund Program

Chapter 67 of the Laws of 1985 created the Housing Trust Fund Corporation (HTFC), a public benefit corporation which administers the Low-Income Housing Trust Fund Program (HTF).

The Housing Trust Fund Program was established under Article XVIII of the Private Housing Finance Law (PHFL) to help meet the critical need for decent, affordable housing opportunities for people of low income. The Corporation, under the direction of a Board of Directors chaired by the Commissioner of the Division of Housing and Community Renewal (DHCR), receives staff and administrative support from DHCR.

HTF provides funding to eligible applicants to construct low-income housing, to rehabilitate vacant, distressed or underutilized residential property (or portions of a property), or to convert vacant or underutilized non-residential property to residential use for occupancy by low-income homesteaders, tenants, tenant-cooperators or condominium owners. HTF can also provide seed funding to eligible non-profit applicants who need financial assistance in developing a full HTF project application.

Since 1985, HTF has received annual appropriations between $25 and $39 million; a nominal amount of each appropriation can be used for administration of the program.

Eligible Applicants

Applicants must be not-for-profit corporations or charitable organizations or their wholly-owned subsidiaries; housing development fund companies (pursuant to Article 11 of the PHFL); municipalities; counties (counties with their own department of assessment may be direct recipients; other counties are eligible only as local program administrators); housing authorities (for properties owned after July 1, 1986 only); private developers who make equity investments in a project and who limit their profits or rate of return to investors; or partnerships in which the non-profit partner has at least a 50 percent controlling interest. Low income persons may not be direct recipients of payments, grants or loans from the Corporation, but may receive such funds from another eligible applicant. Other than municipalities, counties and private developers, eligible applicants must have been in existence for at least one year prior to application and have, as one of their primary purposes, the improvement or provision of housing for low-income persons.

Eligible Areas

Projects must be located in an area which is blighted, deteriorated or deteriorating, or has a blighting influence on the surrounding area, or is in danger of becoming a slum or blighted area because of the existence of substandard, unsanitary, deteriorating or deteriorated conditions, an aged housing stock, or vacant non-residential property or an area in which the private sector has demonstrated an inability or unwillingness to participate in the provision of affordable housing without government assistance.

Eligible Properties

To be eligible for HTF funding, properties must be located in eligible areas and at the time of application must be either: vacant, distressed or under-occupied residential properties, or portions of eligible residential properties, vacant, or underutilized non-residential properties, or new construction. The vacancy requirement does not apply to one and two unit residential properties if rehabilitation creates at least one additional unit. A distressed property means a residential property, the rehabilitation of which would preserve affordable housing currently serving a population whose housing need would justify its replacement if it ceased to be available.

Income Population Served

Occupancy in HTF projects is limited to low-income persons and families defined as:

  • in cities with a population of one million or more, those persons and families whose incomes do not exceed 80 percent of the median income for the metropolitan statistical area in which a project is located. In the case of an owner-occupant of a homesteading project, persons of low income shall also mean those whose incomes do not exceed 80 percent of the median income for the State;

  • in those portions of the State outside of cities with a population of one million or more persons and within a metropolitan statistical area (MSA), those persons and families whose incomes do not exceed 90 percent of the median income for the MSA in which the project is located, or 90 percent of the median income for the State, whichever is greater; or

  • in those portions of the State outside of a metropolitan statistical area, those persons and families whose incomes do not exceed 90 percent of the median income for the county in which a project is located, or 90 percent of the median income for the State, whichever is greater.

Funding Limitations

Funding under the Low-Income Housing Trust Fund is limited to $125,000 per unit. Project sponsors must ensure long-term (15-30 years) use by low and/or very low-income persons. Seed money funding is limited to $5,000 per unit and a maximum amount of $45,000 for the entire project. Up to 10 percent of an HTF award can be used for a community service facility.

Program funds cannot be used for a project's or applicant's administrative costs, nor can they be used for any non-residential facilities, except for community space for project tenants and such space necessary for operating and management activities as approved by the HTFC. No more than 50 percent of the HTF award may be used towards acquisition of the project property. Operating reserves cannot be capitalized with HTF monies.

No more than 50 percent of the annual HTF appropriation may be allocated to any one municipality. Additionally, no more than one-third of the funds appropriated in any one year may be used by private developers.

For more information or a Unified Funding Process Application contact your DHCR Regional Office.

Last updated on 07/24/12