Sixty-two organizations and businesses that are members of the Maine Affordable Housing Coalition (MAHC) signed a letter to Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) urging her to protect the NHTF in the FY16 THUD appropriations bill. Senator Collins chairs the THUD Subcommittee of the Senate Appropriations Committee. The letter was delivered to Senator Collins at June 5 meeting in Lewiston, ME called by Senator Collins and attended by HUD Secretary Julián Castro and representatives of ME PHAs. Auburn Housing Authority Executive Director Rick Whiting, who chairs the MAHC Board of Directors, handed the letter to Senator Collins at the outset of the meeting.
The letter said, “For more than seven years, since you co-sponsored the legislation that created the National Housing Trust Fund, we have been working with you and your staff to make this critical new resource a reality. We respectfully request that the Senate T-HUD Committee not follow the House Appropriations Committee’s lead in further frustrating efforts to put NHTF dollars to work in Maine and around the country.”
The letter also points out that the NHTF statute requires a small state minimum. Thus, Maine would receive more funds through the NHTF than the state would if the funds were diverted to HOME as the House bill would do.
Currently, the Senate THUD Appropriations Subcommittee is expected to take up its FY16 bill in late June or early July.
To read the MAHC letter to Senator Collins, go to http://nlihc.org/sites/default/files/MAHC_NHTF-letter-to-Senator-Collins_060515.pdf.