The U.S. Department of the Treasury announced today that it would exercise its authority to transfer up to $2 billion in additional Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) funds to the Hardest Hit Fund (HHF) program to continue assisting struggling homeowners and stabilizing neighborhoods in many of the nation’s hardest hit communities. Ohio will receive over $97 million in the first of two phases of $1 billion funding.
In a strong bipartisan action, Congress authorized the U.S. Treasury Department to transfer up to $2 billion to the HHF in December 2015. The fifth round of HHF funding will be allocated among participating state Housing Finance Agencies (HFA) in two phases of $1 billion each.
“This amazing work by the Ohio delegation will go a long way in removing much of the residential blight that continues to drag down Ohio communities,” shared Jim Rokakis, Western Reserve Land Conservancy vice president and director of Thriving Communities. “It is the perfect complement to the Land Conservancy’s work of establishing land banks and working with communities around the State to not only remove the blighting influences in a neighborhood—but to green the property post demolition so that space adds value to that community.”
“We thank Sen. Brown, Sen. Portman, as well as Rep. Joyce, for their leadership and tireless work to make sure this funding, so crucial to communities across Ohio, was included in the year-end spending bill. We also thank Mark McCardle at the U.S. Treasury Department for his work on this.”
According to the U.S. Treasury Department, the first phase will allocate $1 billion using a formula based on current state population and the HFA’s utilization of their HHF allocation to date. The use of state population as a primary factor is consistent with previous HHF allocations, and consideration of how states have previously demonstrated the ability to effectively deploy funds.
The state of Ohio was allocated $97,590,720 in the first round of funding announced today.
Participating HFAs will be able to apply for the second round $1 billion funding. The application process will allow the Treasury to focus additional resources to states that not only have substantial ongoing foreclosure prevention and blight removal needs, but also have successful program models to address those needs and a proven record of utilizing HHF. HFAs will have until March 11, 2016 to apply for additional funding.
The Ohio Housing Finance Agency (OHFA) will be able to apply for up to an additional $250 million in the second round of funding.
The Hardest Hit Fund was first created in February 2010 and has provided $7.6 billion to the 18 states, plus the District of Columbia, hit hardest by the by the economic and housing market downturn. Hardest Hit Fund programs are designed and administrated by each state’s Housing Finance Agency (HFA); they are locally-tailored to assist struggling homeowners in their communities through foreclosure avoidance and blight elimination programs. Ohio has previously been allocated nearly $570,400,000.