Housing Trust Fund Program Overview

The Housing Trust Fund Program (HTF) is an affordable housing production program that will complement existing federal, State, and local efforts to increase the supply of decent, safe, and sanitary affordable housing for extremely low income (ELI) households, including special needs households, homeless households, and those at risk of homelessness. The State of Montana receives and administers an annual allocation of federal funds from HUD for HTF grants and conducts program administration through the Montana Department of Commerce (Commerce). The HTF program will help qualified sub-recipients direct funds for the construction, rehabilitation, and preservation of affordable rental housing for ELI families.

Our goal is to support capacity, resiliency, and the development of strong, vibrant communities, and to take action to address community needs. Commerce and HTF can do this by funding projects that provide homes for Montana’s extremely low-income households and individuals.


The Housing Trust Fund Program (HTF) is a federal block grant designed to create affordable housing for extremely low-income households and was established under Title I of the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008. Montana's State allocation of HTF funds is provided by HUD, and the Montana Department of Commerce grants these funds to entitlement cities, non-profit developers, and public housing authorities for the development and preservation of affordable housing for income-eligible individuals and families.

The objective of the HTF Program is to expand the supply of decent, safe, sanitary, and affordable housing for extremely low-income Montanans (those at or below 30% of area median income).

Eligible Projects

HTF funds may be used to develop affordable rental housing through the acquisition, new construction, reconstruction, or rehabilitation of non-luxury housing with suitable amenities. Activities may include real property acquisition, site improvements, new construction, rehabilitation, reconstruction, conversion, and other expenses including financing costs, temporary relocation expenses of any households, businesses, or organizations. Acquisition of vacant land or demolition must be undertaken only with respect to a particular, predefined housing project intended to provide affordable housing within established time frames.

Eligible Applicants

An entitlement city, non-profit, or public housing authority may apply for HTF funds.

HOME Investment Partnerships Program and Housing Trust Fund Application Guidelines (PDF) (Word)

Applications for proposals with HOME and HTF funds will be due September 17, 2024
Please see the Application Toolkit for additional documents

Uniform Application for Montana Housing Projects (click here)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               March 7, 2023 Application Workshop
Presentation Slides (PDF)

Commerce accepts applications for housing development annually, on or about September 15th. Grants are awarded to construct, acquire, and/or rehabilitate rental properties. Awards are to fill financing gaps and may not exceed HUD-determined subsidy limits. For more information, including an overview of ranking criteria and specific questions and required documents, see Application Guidelines (above).

Applications are evaluated according to ranking criteria and receive points for responses to each criterion. Successful applicants are awarded grants commensurate with demonstrated need, HUD’s subsidy limits, and availability of funds. Both successful and unsuccessful applicants are notified of funding decisions once they are made, and all applicants are provided an opportunity to meet with Commerce staff to discuss their applications and overall ranking outcomes with the aim of helping applicants identify areas for improvement and opportunities for future success.

Applicants Proposing to do Rehabilitation Activities

As of April 22, 2010 the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Renovation, Repair, and Painting (RRP) Program Rule applies to paid renovators who work in pre-1978 housing and child-occupied facilities, including: renovation contractors, maintenance workers in multi-family housing, painters, and other specialty trades. Under the rule, child-occupied facilities are defined as residential, public, or commercial buildings where children under age six are present on a regular basis. Contractors are required to have a certified renovator on board for each job taking place in a home or facility defined by the rule.

There are some differences between the EPA RRP Rule and the HUD Lead Safe Housing Rule (LSHR). A major difference is that the LSHR requires clearance examinations. All housing receiving federal assistance must still comply with the LSHR. Read more about complying with the LSHR and RRP.

EPA-Authorized Lead Renovation, Repair, and Painting Courses are offered by the Montana Weatherization Training Center at MSU - Bozeman, the only EPA accredited training provider in Montana.

Projects involving structures built prior to 1980 are considered to have the potential for lead-based paint (LBP) and procedures have been developed to ensure compliance with federal regulations. If structures are being funded by CDBG, HOME, or HTF for rehabilitation, the units must be tested for LBP and if positive, the LBP must be removed during rehabilitation or prior to occupancy. CDBG-, HOME-, and HTF-assisted units constructed before 1980 must be tested for LBP using HUD Performance Characteristics Sheet Testing and applicable industry standards. All assisted units must be free of LBP prior to occupancy. For many projects, program funds can to be used to assist with the cost of LBP testing and remediation activities.

Grantees are required to document that proposed rehabilitation activities have been assessed for LBP or lead water service lines; that the applicant has the resources to ensure that certified LBP inspectors and contractors are available to accomplish the proposed activities; and that the cost and design of the proposed activity takes LBP removal and remediation into account. Applicants for CDBG, HOME, and HTF funding are required to certify that they accept all program requirements, including compliance with all state and federal LBP requirements and regulations.

Commerce requires that Preliminary Architectural Reports (PARs) funded with state or federal funding through the Department, or submitted in support of a grant application for any state or federal funding, meet the requirements of the Department’s PAR requirements. Among other things the requirements include describing all concerns, deficiencies, compliance issues, and relevant regulations related to LBP, evaluating the existence of LBP in any existing facilities, and describing all mitigation measures that will be implemented to remediate any LBP.

HUD Exchange - Housing Trust Fund (Link)

  • Capital Needs Assessment Requirements (PDF)
  • Comparing CDBG v HOME v HTF (PDF)
  • Management Plan Template for City/County (Word)
  • Management Plan Template for Non-Profit (Word)
  • Market Analysis Requirements (PDF)
  • Preliminary Architectural Report Requirements (PDF)
  • Minimum Housing Rehabilitation and Property Standards (see the most recent Consolidated Plan or Annual Action Plan here)
  • Residential Anti-displacement and Relocation Assistance Plan (Word) 
  • Rental Housing Operation Plan (Word) (PDF)
Grantees are responsible for carrying out project activities commensurate with the project application and ensuring compliance with all applicable state, federal, and local requirements. The Montana Department of Commerce (Commerce) is committed to assisting grantees with these responsibilities and seeks to provide uniform guidance through the Affordable Housing Development Grant Administration Manual along with published tools and resources (hereafter, Manual). The Manual details various state and federal requirements pertaining to the HOME Investment Partnerships Program (HOME) and Housing Trust Fund Program (HTF). It is designed to walk grant administrators through each step of a HOME-/HTF-assisted housing development project, from notice of grant award and start-up to procurement and project completion, and its organization mirrors the lifecycle of most projects.

In addition, Commerce staff are available to provide technical assistance. Please contact us if you have comments, questions, or need assistance.


HOME and HTF Affordable Housing Development Grant Administration Manual (Word) (PDF)


Tools and Resources



Start-Up Requirements Checklist (Word) (PDF)

Project Budget

Budget Template (Word) (PDF)

Project Implementation Schedule

Implementation Schedule Template (Word) (PDF)

Firm Commitment of Other Funding Sources

Guidelines on Providing Acceptable Documentation of Non-HOME/-HTF Funding Sources (Word) (PDF)

Project Management Plan

Sample Project Management Plan (Word) (PDF)

Sample Subrecipient Agreement (Word) (PDF)

Environmental Review (HOME)

Sample Letter and Resolution Designating Environmental Certifying Official (Word) (PDF)

Part 58 Environmental Review Process and Resources (Word) (PDF)

HUD Resources for Complying with Related Laws and Authorities (Part 58)

Agency Contacts for Environmental Information and Notification Distribution (Word) (PDF)

HUD Form – Environmental Review for Activity/Project that is Categorically Excluded Subject to Section 58.5

HUD Form – Part 58 Environmental Assessment (EA)

Sample Tribal Consultation Letter (Word) (PDF)

Sample State Historic Preservation Office Letter (Word) (PDF)

Sample Letter and Resolution Showing Agreement by Local Government to Prepare Environmental Review on Behalf of a Non-Government Entity (Word) (PDF)

Site Contamination Best Practices (Word)

Environmental Review Training (forthcoming)

Environmental Review (HTF)

Suggested Format: New Construction – HTF Funds Only

Suggested Format: Rehabilitation – HTF Funds Only

Suggested Format: New Construction – HTF and Other HUD Funds

Suggested Format: Rehabilitation – HTF and Other HUD Funds

Sample Environmental Certification (Word) (PDF)

Civil Rights

Sample Fair Housing Policy Resolution (Word) (PDF)

Fair Housing Poster (Form HUD-928.1)

Sample Complaint Procedure Resolution and Complaint Form (ADA and Section 504) (Word) (PDF)

Sample Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Policy (Word) (PDF)

Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Poster

Establish Financial Accounting System

Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) Sign Up Form (PDF)

Signature Certification Form (Word) (PDF)


Project Set Up and Completion Report – Multifamily Development (Word) (PDF)

Project Set Up and Completion Report – Single-Family Development (Word) (PDF)



Records Creation and Retention

Suggested Record Organization (Word) (PDF)

Uniform Relocation Act (URA)


Procurement Procedures

Procurement Checklist (forthcoming)

Sample Request for Proposals (RFP) for Project Management Services (Word) (PDF)

Sample Request for Qualifications (RFQ) for Architectural Services (Word) (PDF)

HOME Supplemental Conditions (Word) (PDF)

HTF Supplemental Conditions (Word) (PDF)

Step-by-Step Guide to Procurement by Sealed Bid (Word) (PDF)

Step-by-Step Guide to Procurement by Competitive Request (Word) (PDF)

Sample Professional Services Contract (forthcoming)

Sample of a Consultant’s Invoice Meeting Commerce’s Requirements (Word) (PDF)


Pre-Construction Conference Planning Guide (forthcoming)

Pre-Construction Conference Attendance and Materials Receipt Verification Form (Word) (PDF)

Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Poster *Must be posted at construction site*

OSHA Job Safety and Health Poster *Must be posted at construction site*

SAM Quick Start Guide for New Grantee Registration

Volunteer Certification Form (Word) (PDF)

Labor Standards Resources (HOME Only) (Word) (PDF)

Financial Management

Budgetary Authority Resolution (Local Governments Only) (Word) (PDF)

HOME/HTF Request for Reimbursement Form *Required for reimbursement* (Excel)

Uniform Status of Funds Form *Required for reimbursement* (Excel)

Uniform Invoice Tracking Form *Required for reimbursement* (Excel)

Project Progress Report *Required for reimbursement* (Word) (PDF)

Contract and Employment Reporting Form *Required for reimbursement* (Excel)

Labor Standards Resources (HOME Only) *If applicable, documentation required for reimbursement* (Word) (PDF)

Other Requirements

Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Poster

Violence Against Women Act (VAWA)

Notice of Occupancy Rights Under VAWA (Form HUD 5380)

Certification of Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, Sexual Assault, or Stalking, and Alternate Documentation (Form HUD 5382)

Lease Addendum - Violence Against Women and Justice Department Reauthorization Act of 2005 (Form HUD 91067)

Model Emergency Transfer Plan for Victims of Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, Sexual Assault, or Stalking (Form HUD 5381)

Emergency Transfer Request for Certain Victims of Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, Sexual Assault, or Stalking (Form HUD 5383)

Request for Assistance Identifying Assisted, Available Units for External Emergency Transfers (Word) (PDF)

Marketing and Leasing

Multifamily Housing AFHMP (Form HUD Form HUD 935.2A)

Single Family Housing AFHMP (Form HUD 935.2B)

Sample Tenant Selection Policy (forthcoming)

Sample Application for Rental Housing (forthcoming)

Sample Lease (forthcoming)

HOME Lease Addendum

VAWA Lease Addendum (Form HUD 91067)

Project Completion

Project Set Up and Completion Report – Multifamily Development (Word) (PDF)

Project Set Up and Completion Report – Single-Family Development (Word) (PDF)

Certification of Completion and Status of Funds Report -AND- Conditional / Final Closeout Certification (Word) (PDF)

Project Completion Monitoring Checklist (Word)

Annual HOME and HTF Rental Certification

Calendar Year 2023 Annual Certification for Rental Housing (WordDue March 29, 2024

Calendar Year 2023 Rent and Occupancy Report (Excel)

Annual Certification Quick Guide (PDF)

Rent Schedule Form (Excel)


Property Standards 

Housing Quality Standards (HQS) Inspection Checklist Form HUD-52580-A (long form) Form HUD-52580 (short form)

Uniform Physical Condition Standards (UPCS) Form (PDF)


HTF Income and Rent Limits

2024 HTF Income Limits Effective June 1, 2024

2024 HTF Rent Limits Effective June 1, 2024