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Housing Trust Funds

What Is It?


Illinois’ HTF is a typical state housing trust fund. With revenues committed to it from the state’s real estate transfer tax, the Illinois Housing Finance Agency has been able to support nearly 20,000 housing units with almost $100 million in funds since the trust fund began in 1989.

Housing trust funds (HTFs) are distinct funds established by cities, counties and states that dedicate sources of revenue to support affordable housing. Housing trust funds are usually created by legislation or ordinance. At present, there are more than 170 housing trust funds in the United States. 
Housing Trust Funds:

  • commit public sources of revenue;
  • create dedicated, ongoing funding for the support of affordable housing;
  • do not depend on interest or earnings from a fixed fund, or on contributions from corporations, financial institutions or foundations.

The housing trust fund model is an innovative departure from the way that dollars have historically been secured to support affordable housing.
This tool was developed in partnership with Mary Brooks, Center for Community Change (CCC). CCC is the leading national technical resource for Housing Trust Funds. For more information on their technical assistance services visit CCC 's website or contact Mary Brooks,

Last Updated: June 2001