Meeting the housing needs of low-income Tennesseans through partnerships has been a core value of the Tennessee Housing Development Agency since its creation in 1973. THDA is committed to working with local communities and nonprofit agencies to make decent, safe, affordable housing available to all residents of Tennessee.
In 2006, the THDA Board of Directors voted to create the Housing Trust Fund (HTF) to address the housing needs of the very low income, the very low income elderly and the very low income special needs populations of Tennessee. The four-level model for funding included state appropriation, THDA funds, private sector investment, and matching funds from local grantees. Basic home repair was the constantly repeated request when THDA and other housing funders visited with community leaders in all nine of Tennessee’s development districts in the spring of 2007. City and County officials, especially in rural areas of the state, continue to express that need.
The HTF began with total allocations in FY 2007 and 2008 of $12 million in THDA funds and $4 million appropriated to THDA by the State Legislature. The combined FY 2007 and 2008 allocations to the HTF were used to fund $4 million for the Emergency Repair Program for the Elderly, $1.4 million for the USDA Rural Development Rural Repair Program, $300,000 for the Ramp Program for persons with disabilities, $300,000 for the THDA Homebuyer Education Reimbursement program, and $10 million in competitive grants.
The THDA Board of Directors approved an additional $6 million in THDA funds in FY 2009, and the State Legislature made a second and final appropriation of $350,000 for the HTF. THDA again allocated $2 million to the Emergency Repair Program for the Elderly, $700,000 to the USDA Rural Development Rural Repair Program, $150,000 to the Ramp Program, and $3.5 million in competitive grants. The THDA Board of Directors approved an additional $6 million for the HTF in FY 2010 and in FY 2011.
Through FY 2011, private sector investment in the HTF enabled THDA to operate the Preserve program. Fifth Third Bank and First State Bank made low interest loans to the HTF, and these dollars were designed to assist homeowners of moderate income to make needed repairs to their homes, to maintain the housing stock, and to help homeowners avoid predatory lending.
In FY 2013, the THDA Board of Directors increased the allocation to the HTF to $6.5 million to fund the pilot Manufactured Housing Replacement Program. The THDA Board also approved an additional $2 million in FY 2013 for the Rebuild and Recover Disaster Program and changed the application schedule for the Competitive Grants Program from once every two years to twice each fiscal year. The change began with the 2014 Fall Mini Round.
In FY 2014, the THDA Board approved a higher allocation, $7 million, and eliminated the pilot Manufactured Housing Replacement Program due to lack of activity. The THDA Board approved allocations of $7.5 million to the Housing Trust Fund in FY 2015 and FY 2106. In July 2015, the Emergency Repair for the Elderly Program was expanded to include individuals with disabilities of any age, and the USDA Rural Repair Program was discontinued. Beginning in FY 2015, an annual allocation of $500,000 has been set-aside for Habitat for Humanity of Tennessee for re-distribution to local Habitat affiliates.