Beware the grubby paws (hat tip – Will Amos):
House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank has a plan to funnel income from the government’s $700 billion bailout fund toward the housing sector.
The powerful Massachusetts Democrat last week quietly introduced legislation that aims to use $1 billion in dividends paid by the recipients of government aid to provide rental housing opportunities for low-income and homeless families. The money would go into a national housing trust fund established last summer in connection with legislation that allowed for Fannie Mae (FNM) and Freddie Mac (FRE) to be placed under government conservatorship.
The fund currently is empty, however President Barack Obama’s fiscal year 2010 budget calls for it to receive $ 1 billion – a sum the Frank legislation would provide.
“This would be the seed money to get the trust fund up and running,” said Danna Fischer, legislative director for the National Low Income Housing Coalition.
Fischer said the trust aims to garner $150 billion in total funding over the next decade.
Frank said it is feasible to use income from the Troubled Asset Relief Fund, known as TARP, to finance the trust for at least “a couple of years.”
Frank’s legislation also proposes funneling $1.5 billion in TARP dividend payments to state and local government efforts to redevelop abandoned and foreclosed properties.