Members of Congress are circulating “dear colleague” sign-on letters in support of HUD and USDA Rural Housing funding.
Tenant-Based Rental Assistance
Representative Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) is circulating a letter calling for an additional $320 million for Section 8 vouchers above the President’s FY15 budget request of $20.45 billion in order to restore 40,000 vouchers lost due to sequestration. Mr. Nadler asks the THUD Subcommittee to “target these vouchers to those who need them the most, particularly low-income individuals and families experiencing homelessness and people with disabilities.” The deadline to sign is March 31. Members can contact Melissa Connolly at email@example.com to sign.
Representative Gwen Moore (D-WI) is circulating a letter in support of $2.405 billion for Homeless Assistance Grants in FY15. This is a $300 million increase over the FY14 enacted amount, but less than the President’s request of $2.406 billion. “With homeless systems already strained and persistent economic difficulties leading to high numbers of people continuing to need help, providing $2.405 billion for homeless assistance programs must be a priority so that we can ensure all individuals and families who are facing homelessness will soon have a place to call home,” wrote Ms. Moore. The deadline to sign is March 28. Members can contact Sean Gard at Sean.Gard@mail.house.gov to sign.
Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) is circulating a letter in the Senate also in strong support of the FY15 Homeless Assistance Grants funding. “Homelessness persists as one of our nation's most pressing social problems and has grown more challenging in the wake of the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. Now, more than ever, robust funding for Homeless Assistance Programs must be a priority so we can ensure that all individuals and families who are facing homelessness have a safe place to stay,” wrote Mr. Reed. The deadline to sign is April 1. Members can contact James Ahn at firstname.lastname@example.org to sign.
Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (VASH) Vouchers
Representatives Al Green (D-TX), Michael Grimm (R-NY), and Michael Michaud (D-ME) are circulating a letter in support of $75 million for 10,000 new VASH vouchers that the President has requested in his budget. “HUD-VASH is truly a life-saving program. Congress has shown its commitment to support our veterans in past years, and we believe that this support must continue as more of our service members return home,” wrote the representatives. The deadline to sign is March 25. Members can contact Gregg Orton at Gregg.email@example.com to sign.
HOME Investment Partnerships Program
Senators Chris Coons (D-DE) and Patrick Leahy (D-VT) are circulating a letter calling for of $1.2 billion in funding for the HOME Investment Partnerships program in FY15. This is above the FY14 enacted level of $1 billion and the President’s FY15 request of $950 million. ’“HOME has borne a disproportionate share of recent federal budget cuts, seeing its total funding reduced by roughly 38 percent since 2011, which has real and serious consequences for families and communities,” wrote the senators. “A funding level of $1.2 billion for the HOME program would create or preserve approximately 21,600 jobs.” The deadline for senators to sign the letter is March 28. Members can contact Lauren Brackett at Lauren_Brackett@leahy.senate.gov, or Doug Lee at Doug_Lee@coons.senate.gov to sign.
Representative Marcia Fudge (D-OH) is circulating a letter supporting $1.6 billion for HOME in FY15. “HOME funding is a vital resource for communities working to meet the needs of low-income families and individuals in need of supportive housing, including veterans, persons with disabilities, seniors and persons experiencing homelessness,” wrote Ms. Fudge. The deadline for Members of the House to sign the letter is March 26. Members can contact Jacob Gelman at Jacob.Gelman@mail.house.gov to sign.
Community Development Block Grant Program
Senator Leahy is also circulating a letter in the Senate in support of “at least $3.3 billion” for the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program in FY15. CDBG was funded at $3.03 billion in FY14. The President requested just $2.8 billion for FY15. “The CDBG formula allocation has been reduced by nearly 32 percent, resulting in a $960 million cut since 2010. Because of these cuts to the formula allocation, programs and projects funded by CDBG and the number of residents served by these activities have been cut, too,” wrote Senator Leahy. The deadline for senators to sign the letter is April 1 at noon. Members can contact Lauren Brackett at Lauren_Brackett@leahy.senate.gov to sign.
Representatives Robert Brady (D-PA), Lou Barletta (R-PA), Chaka Fattah (D-PA), Chris Gibson (R-NY), Peter King (R-NY), and James McGovern (D-MA) also are circulating a bipartisan House letter in support of $3.3 billion for CDBG in FY15. “While we understand the difficult fiscal decisions we must make in Washington. The CDBG program is one of the most effective federal domestic programs to revitalize communities with proven results,” wrote the representatives. The deadline for Members of the House to sign is March 28. Members can contact Samuel Breene at firstname.lastname@example.org to sign.
Section 4 Capacity Building
Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) is circulating a letter in support of $35 million for the Section 4 Capacity Building for Community Development and Affordable Housing Program in FY15. Section 4 provides direct funding for LISC, Habitat for Humanity, and Enterprise Community Partners. “The Section 4 Program leverages private and public investment to significantly impact local communities. Section 4 funding attracts nearly $27 in other public and private investment for every $1 in Section 4 support.” The deadline for Members of the Senate to sign is April 3. Members can contact Lane Bodian at Lane_Bodian@schumer.senate.gov.
Representative Rubén Hinojosa (D-TX) is circulating a letter in support of Rural Housing funding for USDA (see Memo, 3/14). He is requesting $30 million for Section 514 Farm Labor Housing Program Loans, $10 million for Section 516 Farm Labor Housing Program Grants, $31.3 million for the Section 515 Rural Rental Housing Program, and $1.1 billion for Section 521 Multi-Family Rental Housing Rental Assistance. The President requested $24 million, $8 million, $28 million, and $1.089 billion for these programs respectively. “We…ask that the Subcommittee maintain adequate funding for programs that contribute to addressing the pressing need for affordable rental housing in rural America. These rural housing programs are critical to the creation and repair of housing units in rural communities across America,” wrote Mr. Hinojosa. The deadline for Members of the House to sign the letter is March 28. Members can contact Holly Bullard at email@example.com to sign.
Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) is circulating a letter in the Senate in support of “maintaining adequate funding” for USDA’s rural homeownership and rental programs in FY15. “Providing sufficient appropriations for rural housing programs…is essential to improve the quality of life and economic opportunity in rural America,” wrote Senator Schumer. The deadline for senators to sign the letter is April 2. Members can contact Lane Bodian at firstname.lastname@example.org to sign.
Other Members of the House and Senate are expected to circulate other “dear colleague” letters prior to the Appropriations Committees’ deadlines. The deadlines for Members of Congress to submit programmatic funding and language requests to the full House and Senate Appropriations Committees are as follows:
- April 2 for House Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies (THUD) Subcommittee.
- April 4 for Senate THUD.
- March 31 for House Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies (Agriculture) Subcommittee.
- TBD for Senate Agriculture.
View the House Section 8 letter: http://bit.ly/1eENFcW
View the House Homeless Assistance letter: http://bit.ly/1nTvNRF
View the Senate Homeless Assistance letter: http://bit.ly/1rnfADu
View the House VASH letter: http://bit.ly/1jmk8sA
View the House HOME letter: http://bit.ly/1kXt5pM
View the Senate HOME letter: http://bit.ly/1jmk8sA
View the Senate CDBG letter: http://bit.ly/1gc4f4Q
View the House CDBG letter: http://bit.ly/1gTARQG
View the Senate Section 4: http://bit.ly/1oKztlH
View the House Rural Housing letter: http://bit.ly/1fSDz9c
View the Senate Rural Housing letter: http://bit.ly/1lcmE4H