The. U.S. House of Representatives passed its Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies (THUD) FY16 appropriations bill on June 9. The bill would raid the National Housing Trust Fund (NHTF) in 2016 in order to make up for reduced appropriations to the HOME program. The bill would also prohibit the NHTF from receiving any other sources of revenue. The bill passed the House by a vote of 216 to 210.
An amendment offered by Representative Al Green (D-TX) to fund HOME at President Barack Obama’s FY16 request level of $1.06 billion without raiding any of the NHTF resources was withdrawn because it did not have an offset (see Memo, 6/8).
House Committee on Financial Services Ranking Member Maxine Waters (D-CA) released a statement on the bill’s passage expressing concern over many of the bill’s provisions, including its treatment of the NHTF. Ms. Waters said that the bill “halts funding for the Housing Trust Fund, a permanent federal fund that focuses on providing support to states to build, preserve and ultimately increase the supply of affordable rental housing for extremely low-, very low-income and homeless families. The legislation diverts funding for the Trust Fund to another program within HUD that is not as focused on those with extremely low incomes.”
It is now up to the U.S. Senate to defend the NHTF. The Senate THUD Appropriations Subcommittee has not yet taken up its FY16 bill, but may do so in late June or early July.
Advocates whose Senators are on the Senate Appropriations Committee should communicate their support for the NHTF. The Members of the Senate Appropriations Committee can be found at http://www.appropriations.senate.gov/about-committee/committee-members.
Ranking Member Waters’ statement is at http://democrats.financialservices.house.gov/news/documentsingle.aspx?DocumentID=399167