Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and 30 other Senators (28 Democrats and two Independents) sent a letter to Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Jack Reed (D-RI), Chair and Ranking Member of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies (THUD), to “express our strong support for both the National Housing Trust Fund (NHTF) and the HOME Investments Partnerships Program (HOME) and urge you to reject any effort to reduce, divert, or eliminate funding from either program.”
The June 5 letter expresses the Senators’ opposition to the action by the House Appropriations Committee to raid the NHTF and use the funds to make up for cutting the appropriation to HOME (see Memo, 5/18). They cite the shortage of rental housing for extremely low income households as the reason that Congress established the NHTF in 2008.
In a press release announcing the letter, the Senators said that the letter makes “clear that the elimination of the NHTF, and the massive underfunding of the HOME program would be a huge step backward in our efforts to meet the unaddressed housing needs of millions of American families.”
Senators signing the letter in addition to Senator Boxer are Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Bob Casey (D-PA), Chris Coons (D-DE), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Al Franken (D-MN), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Angus King (I-ME), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Edward Markey (D-MA), Joe Manchin (D-WV), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Chris Murphy (D-CT), Gary Peters (D-MI), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Brian Schatz (D-HI), Charles Schumer (D-NY), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), and Ron Wyden (D-OR).
The Senate THUD Subcommittee is expected to mark up its FY16 bill by the end of June or early July.
To read the letter to Senators Collins and Reed, go to http://nlihc.org/sites/default/files/Senate_NHTF-HOME_Letter-to-THUD_060515.pdf