Take Action: Senate Continues to Debate Spending Bill, Fair Housing, and Other Measures
The Senate continues to debate a Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 spending bill and will likely vote on amendments as soon as Tuesday, July 31. We need your help to defeat harmful amendments that would undermine housing opportunity and to support amendments to expand and preserve critical resources.
Please contact your senators and urge them to OPPOSE the following amendments:
- Senate Amendment 3520 – Introduced by Senator Mike Lee (R-UT), this amendment would bar HUD from implementing or enforcing its Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) rule. The AFFH rule clarifies existing fair housing obligations and provides states and local governments with the tools they need to more fairly and effectively invest federal funds in their communities. It does not impose any new obligations on states.
- Senate Amendment 3634 – Senator Ted Cruz’s (R-TX) amendment would allow HUD to divert scarce disaster recovery funds approved by Congress in the wake of Hurricane Harvey, Irma, and Maria away from low income disaster survivors and communities with the greatest needs. The NLIHC-led Disaster Housing Recovery Coalition sent a letter to HUD signed by more than 500 local, state, and national organizations in opposition when he and other members of the Texas delegation proposed these harmful changes last fall.
- Senate Amendment 3431 –Senator Mike Enzi’s (R-WY) amendment would direct HUD to develop a plan to eliminate “fragmented, duplicative, or overlapping” housing assistance programs. The amendment could endanger critical resources for affordable housing.
- Senate Amendment 3593 – Introduced by Senators Tim Scott (R-SC) and Joe Manchin (D-WV), this amendment would allow housing providers to report on-time and late rental payments to credit bureaus. While the amendment is well-intentioned in trying to help people build credit, the amendment could negatively impact credit scores while taking away a critical tool tenants have in extreme circumstances - withholding rent to ensure landlords address uninhabitable conditions in their homes.
Please contact your senators and urge them to SUPPORT the following amendments:
- Senate Amendment 3545 –Senator Bill Nelson’s (D-FL) amendment would make the Disaster Housing Assistance Program (DHAP) available to survivors of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria, providing them with the longer-term housing assistance they need to get back on their feet. FEMA has refused to activate this important program, despite requests by the governor of Puerto Rico, dozens of members of Congress, survivors, and housing and homelessness advocates. As a result, thousands of families have had no choice but to double or triple up with other families, return to uninhabitable homes, sleep in their cars, or pay more than half of their incomes on rent, putting them at increased risk of evictions and, in worst cases, homelessness.
- Senate Amendment 3546 – This amendment introduced by Senator Tina Smith (D-MN) would direct the USDA to report to Congress on the agency’s strategy – and the tools and resources needed – to preserve affordable rental homes in rural America.
- Senate Amendment 3549 – This amendment introduced by Senator Todd Young (R-IN) would allow HUD to carry out a voucher-mobility demonstration to help families with children move to areas of opportunity.
- Senate Amendment 3550 – Also introduced by Senator Young, this amendment would establish a bipartisan task force to evaluate and create recommendations regarding the nation’s affordable housing crisis. This amendment is similar to Senator Young’s legislation, which NLIHC supports.
- Senate Amendment 3658 – Senators Ron Wyden (D-OR), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) introduced this amendment to require HUD to transfer expiring project-based rental assistance (PBRA) contracts to new projects. This could help ensure that this critical resource is not lost and remains available for future tenants.
Please contact your senators today on these critical amendments.
To contact your senators’ offices by phone, call the Congressional switchboard at 202-224-3121 or click here: http://cqrcengage.com/nlihc/lookup