Midlands Housing Trust Fund
One of UWMís newest initiatives is to develop a regional housing trust fund to preserve and increase the stock of quality, affordable housing in the Midlands. Housing Trust Funds are distinct accounts with dedicated revenue sources that finance development of quality housing for those most in need. Trust funds are valuable as flexible sources of funding to fill gaps that federal programs do not meet. In addition to funding activities like acquisition, preservation, construction and rehabilitation, trust funds can support hard-to-fund activities like capacity building (predevelopment costs), land banking, innovative housing projects, project based support for multifamily units and otherwise provide incentives to non-profit and for-profit affordable housing developers. The funding can be awarded as loans or grants depending on the balance between the need to subsidize units and the need to generate program income or recycle the funding. Trust funds typically leverage other funding at a ratio of 1:9
The Midlands Housing Trust Fund is envisioned as a public- private funding partnership to preserve and increase the stock of affordable housing in the region through financing, technical assistance and advocacy. The MHTF will focus on people who struggle to secure housing including people who work at low wage jobs, people with disabilities and other special needs. Typically, these are people with incomes at 50% or below area median income but the fund is intended to serve people up to 80% area median income. The MHTF is proposed as a regional program to increase access to quality, affordable housing throughout the community. Creating the regional trust fund as an independent nonprofit organization will allow local jurisdictions to adopt and participate in the fund. The area to be served will be determined by interest from local governments.
Thirty-eight states and over 700 cities and counties use housing trust funds to develop and preserve affordable housing. In South Carolina, there are three housing trust funds: the SC Housing Trust Fund (1992), the Lowcountry Housing Trust (2004), and Greenville Housing Fund (2008). In 2007, the Mescher Act of 2007 (H3509) was passed in SC to allow local governments to join housing trust funds and use public dollars to support them.
Columbia MSA Median Income
2010 Dollar Amounts
- 100% AMI $62,400
- 80% AMI $49,900
- 50% AMI $31,200
- 30% AMI $18,700
- Quality affordable housing keeps working families financially stable and is key to attracting industry and retaining young professionals such as teachers and public safety workers.
- Housing is considered affordable when people pay no more than 30% of monthly income for housing. Paying more than 30% is considered housing burdened.
- In the Midlands, between 35% and 50% of renters are considered housing burdened and between 20% and 35% of homeowners are housing burdened.
- In the Midlands, professions making 80% or less of the area median income (AMI) may include bank tellers, nurses (LPN) and administrative assistants.
the Trust Fund
The MHTF is incorporated in South Carolina and has been approved by the Internal Revenue Service as a 501c3 non-profit organization. MHTF has an initial board of directors with five committees established. The board will expand its membership in the coming months to ensure geographic diversity of the Fundís footprint. UWM is supporting development of the MHTF by serving as fiscal agent and providing staff support.
For additional information on the Midlands Housing Trust Fund, contact Jennifer Moore, Senior Director, United Way of the Midlands/Corporate Secretary, Midlands Housing Trust Fund at email@example.com or 803.733.5421.