St. Louis City’s Affordable Housing Trust Fund

The Community Builders Network of Metro St. Louis is recommending that 50 percent of new Use Tax revenues generated from the April 2017 passage of Proposition 1 be allocated to the AHTF.

Click here to read our sign-on letter and here to add your voice to the effort!

The AHTF awarded funds to the East Fox Homes project led by Rise and Messiah Lutheran Church in 2016. The project is restoring 47 affordable and energy-efficient rental homes in the historic Fox Park and Tower Grove East neighborhoods. Messiah Lutheran Church provides social services for Bhutanese refugees that live in these homes.

 
The Affordable Housing Trust Fund (AHTF), administered by St. Louis City’s Affordable Housing Commission (AHC), awards loans and grants to develop affordable housing projects and provide housing-related services, including accessibility modifications, home repair, and support for the homeless. In a climate where federal funding for affordable housing and community development has continued to shrink in recent years, the AHTF is a local investment that’s both socially responsible and economically sound.
 

How does the AHTF work?

  • The AHTF is funded by the City’s Local Use Tax
  • City ordinance requires that AHTF funds go to support St. Louis’ most vulnerable residents.
    • All AHTF funds awarded must benefit families and individuals with incomes at or below 80 percent of the Area Median Income (AMI).
    • Forty (40) percent of funds awarded must benefit those earning 20 percent or less than the AMI.

Why is the AHTF important?

  • It catalyzes investment that might not flow otherwise.
    • Every $1 the AHTF spends on home construction and major rehab is matched by $17 in public and private funds. Expanding the AHTF means a competitive St. Louis that’s more attractive for outside investment.
    • Most AHTF loans to developers and homebuyers are repayable, which allows these resources to be reinvested in our community over time.
  • It builds strong communities.
    • AHTF dollars replace underutilized, unsafe, and substandard buildings with safe, attractive, accessible, energy efficient, and affordable homes.
    • The AHTF combats vacancy by rehabilitating properties and putting them to productive use for people who need housing.
  • It works to solve homelessness.
  • It’s a local solution to federal disinvestment.
    • Federal Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and HOME program funds granted to the City of St. Louis have decreased from $40.2 million to $18.8 million (in 2017 dollars) since the AHTF was created, a decline of 53 percent.

      Click here for a copy of our policy brief on the AHTF and why it’s a smart investment for St. Louis.

How does the AHTF improve St. Louis?

  • Since 2003, the AHTF has funded 1,583 rental units and 184 homes for sale.
  • The AHTF funds services that stabilize communities, including rent, utility, and mortgage assistance and elder services that help people age in place.
  • The work the AHTF makes possible has real effects on our community’s health and safety. Research shows that affordable housing projects increase property values in low-income areas and reduce crime rates.
  • The AHTF eradicates lead from homes, and all homes funded by the AHTF are lead safe. Lead exposure has been linked to crime, antisocial behavior in children, and reduced academic performance.
  • The AHTF provides funding for home repair to build wealth in areas with low access to capital.

 

Where are AHTF dollars invested?

The maps below illustrate the scope of the AHTF’s impact in the City of St. Louis through the rental and for-sale projects that AHC has funded since 2003. The first three maps examine data by neighborhood; the fourth breaks data down at the ward level.

This data was shared with us by the AHC team, and we’re grateful to Senior Housing Analyst Loretta Hiner for her help and guidance as we worked to explore it.

 

Help spread the word about the AHTF on social media!

Hashtags: #expandAHTF, #affordablehousing

  • The STL Affordable Housing Trust Fund supports #affordablehousing & services for our most vulnerable neighbors. We should expand it with 50% of new Use Tax funds from Proposition 1. #expandAHTF http://ow.ly/IJxa30gScjT
  • Federal funds from the CDBG & HOME programs have declined 53% in STL City since 2003. Growing the STL Affordable Housing Trust Fund can fill in that gap & support critical community development programs. #expandAHTF http://ow.ly/IJxa30gScjT
  • Every $1 the STL Affordable Housing Trust Fund spends on home construction & major rehab is matched by $17 in public & private funds. Growing it will make STL more competitive for state, federal, & private investment. #expandAHTF http://ow.ly/IJxa30gScjT
  • Resources invested in the STL Affordable Housing Trust Fund continue to enrich our community over time: most loans the fund grants developers & homebuyers are repayable. #expandAHTF http://ow.ly/IJxa30gScjT
  • The STL Affordable Housing Trust Fund builds strong neighborhoods, catalyzes smart investment, combats vacancy & homelessness, & advances equity. Let’s grow it in 2018. #expandAHTF http://ow.ly/IJxa30gScjT
  • The STL Affordable Housing Trust Fund replaces vacant properties with accessible, lead safe homes. Excellent use of Proposition 1 funds for a city struggling with vacancy. #expandAHTF http://ow.ly/IJxa30gScjT