2014 Affordable Housing Advisory Council Annual Report
Report From The Chair
The National Housing Conference’s Housing Landscape 2015 reports that while housing affordability has improved slightly for low- and moderate-income households, one in four working renter households still spends more than half its income on housing each month. The housing cost burden is still greater for extremely low-income families and individuals, with 80% of those households paying more than half their income on housing. Working families who own their homes are also experiencing severe housing cost burdens. And the challenges of providing special needs populations with housing that is as supportive as it is affordable continue. For too many Americans, spending so much to keep a roof over their heads means that they have barely enough left for other essentials - food, transportation, and healthcare - much less for the consumer spending that feeds our economy.
The housing cost burdens placed on lower-income families are not new, of course. Theodore Roosevelt created the first President’s Housing Commission in 1908 to address the issue of providing decent housing for low-income Americans. Since then many solutions to this challenge have been explored and implemented, with varying degrees of success. For the last 25 years, the Federal Home Loan Bank System’s Affordable Housing Program (AHP) has proven to be among the more effective solutions for easing the burden of housing costs. It is now one of the largest private sources of grant funds for affordable housing in the country, with more than $4.4 billion provided to create or preserve more than 724,000 affordable housing units since 1990.
Since their inception, the Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco’s competitive AHP and homeownership set-aside programs have made $850 million available to deliver affordable housing solutions for lower-income families, seniors, persons with disabilities, veterans, young people transitioning out of the foster care system and other at-risk youth, people with disabilities, individuals struggling to overcome addiction, and homeless men, women, and children.
But now, 25 years on, the environment for affordable housing development is not the same as it was when the AHP was conceived. Development has grown more complicated year after year, as have the needs of the populations these AHP dollars are meant to serve. As we celebrate the 25th anniversary of the successful launch of the AHP, the Affordable Housing Advisory Council looks forward to working together with the Bank, its members, developers, community groups, and the Federal Housing Finance Agency to modernize and refresh the program in ways that will make it an ever more relevant part of efforts aimed at creating and preserving more affordable housing.