Representative Al Green (D-TX) offered an amendment to the House FY16 Appropriations bill that would restore all future funding for the National Housing Trust Fund and increase funding for the HOME program to President Barak Obama’s FY16 request. The amendment was ruled out of order because it did not provide an equal offset for the $293 million increase it sought for the HOME program over the bill’s funding level of $767 million.
The amendment was filed on June 3 during House floor consideration of H.R. 2577, the FY16 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies (THUD) appropriation bill and was taken up late that evening. Mr. Green offered the amendment on behalf of House Committee on Financial Services Ranking Member Maxine Waters (D-CA).
“This amendment provides some degree of aid and comfort for those who are living at 30% of the area median income wherever they happen to live. In Ms. Waters’ district, this would mean an annual income of $20,200 for a family of four. I would dare say that there are few among us who would dare attempt to live off of $20,200 as an individual. This helps a family of four with $20,200. This is what the affordable housing trust fund does. It helps people who are extremely low income,” Mr. Green said in support of his amendment. “My hope is we will be able to prevent this elimination of the affordable housing trust fund.”
In its Statement of Administration Policy (SAP) issued on June 2, the White House objects to the reduction in HOME funds and diversion of the NHTF funds and “strongly urges the Congress to support HOME and the HTF, as each program complements the work of local leaders to develop affordable housing for both extremely low and low income families.”
The House paused in its consideration of the FY16 THUD bill on Thursday, June 4 and will pick it up again on Tuesday, June 9.
The SAP can be found at https://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/legislative/sap/114/saphr2577r_20150601.pdf
A new one-page explanation of the NHTF and key differences between the NHTF and HOME can be found at http://nlihc.org/sites/default/files/NHTF_KeyDifferences_2015.pdf.