July 23, 2002

65,000 Affordable Homes Built Last Year; Program has quadrupled since 1990, stimulating the economy

Release of Report: Tues. July 23rd 11 a.m. Cannon HOB Terrace

Members of Congress and housing advocates will release the first report in six years surveying the rapid spread of housing trust funds across the country. The report, prepared by the Center for Community Change, examines progress enjoyed by this increasingly-employed response to America's affordable housing crisis faced by low- and moderate-income families.

The report's findings include that:

 · the number of trust funds, local and state programs that receive dedicated sources of public funds to support affordable housing, has quadrupled from 60 in 1990 to 282 today

 · housing trust funds directly provided more than $750 million to build, rehab, and support affordable housing

 · local and state trust funds had an overall impact of $6 billion last year on the economy, creating a significant number of living wage jobs and generating substantial tax revenue

On July 10th, the House Financial Services Committee passed a bill that would create a federal matching grant program for local and state housing trust funds but narrowly voted down 34-35 an amendment to establish a National Housing Trust Fund, an effort that is supported by ACORN and over 2,800 national, state, and local groups. A National Housing Trust Fund bill is also currently moving in the Senate.

Housing trust funds are a government program that works. The $5 billion federal investment in housing production called for under the proposed National Housing Trust Fund would help create up to 1.8 million new jobs and over $50 billion in annual wages, after counting the leveraging of other private and public dollars.

ACORN chapters in the following cities will hold events Tuesday morning to release the report: San Diego, San Francisco, Jersey City, Seattle, St. Louis, Phoenix, Little Rock, Los Angeles, Sacramento, Bridgeport, DC, New Orleans, Twin Cities, Philadelphia, and Pittsburgh.

ACORN has been involved in the adoption of Housing Trust Funds in St. Louis and Los Angeles. The Los Angeles Housing Trust Fund is the biggest city Housing Trust Fund in the country at $100 million. The St. Louis Housing Trust Fund is the biggest per capita at $10 million for a city of 350,000. ACORN is pushing for creation of a fund in Minneapolis.

"Cities and states have found the long-term vision to invest in affordable housing, and we are very hopeful that Congress will soon do the same for the country as a whole," said Maude Hurd, ACORN 

National President.

To reach low-income families who have campaigned successfully to pass housing trust funds in their cities, contact David Swanson at 202-547-2500, cell 202-329-7847.

The Center for Community Change is a non-profit organization that works with low-income communities to change their communities and public policies for the better.

ACORN is an acronym, and each letter should be capitalized. ACORN stands for the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now.

ACORN is the nation's largest community organization of low- and moderate-income families, with over 120,000 member families organized into 600 neighborhood chapters in 45 cities across the country. Since 1970 ACORN has taken action and won victories on issues of concern to our members. Our priorities include: better housing for first time homebuyers and tenants, living wages for low-wage workers, more investment in our communities from banks and governments, and better public schools. We achieve these goals by building community organizations that have the power to win changes -- through direct action, negotiation, legislation, and voter participation. ACORN's website is at To receive updates on ACORN's work every two weeks go to

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