Report favors trust fund for housing

Friday, September 7, 2001

WASHINGTON -- A national trust fund for affordable housing would create over a million jobs with up to $50 billion in wages, public housing advocates said Thursday.

A new study released by the Washington-based Center for Community Change justifies the economic benefits of such a fund. Already, housing trust funds exist in more than three dozen states, nearly four dozen cities and six dozen counties.

St. Louis residents voted this year to create a brand-new tax for such a fund and will split the 2.65 percent tax between housing and health care.

But a national fund is the best way to meet the growing need for more housing nationwide as federal dollars disappear, said Andrew Mott, the center's executive director.

Produced by the Northwest Federation of Community Organizations, the report says a $5 billion national trust fund would generate 184,300 construction jobs with $4.9 billion in wages and eventually lead to another 1.6 million jobs paying $44.6 billion in new wages.

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