Senate Considers THUD Bill and Amendments
Take Action TODAY: Urge Your Senator to Support the Bill and Support/Oppose Key Amendments
The Senate Committee on Appropriations passed its FY17 Transportation and Housing and Urban Development (THUD) spending bill on April 21. The full Senate will now consider the bill. It is critical that advocates call their Senators today and tomorrow and ask them to support the bill.
Given the tight constraints on the federal budget, the THUD spending bill is better than expected. There are no major cuts and a few programs received funding increases. Importantly, the spending levels in the bill should allow for continued assistance to all households currently served by HUD programs.
When accounting for certain rescissions and estimated receipts, the THUD spending allocation is $1.4 billion more than it was in FY16. Of the allocation, HUD will receive $39.2 billion, an increase of nearly $891 million from last year’s level.
The THUD spending bill would:
- Provide sufficient funding to renew existing project-based rental assistance contracts;
- Allocate enough funds to renew existing Housing Choice Vouchers and provide additional funds for new vouchers targeted to the HUD-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing program and Family Unification Program;
- Increase funding for public housing;
- Provide new resources to homeless assistance programs, including targeted funds to address youth homelessness;
- Level fund the HOME Investment Partnerships program, the Community Development Block Grant program, and the Housing Opportunities for People With AIDS program;
- Increase funding for the Section 202 Housing for the Elderly program and the Section 811 Housing for People with Disabilities program; and
- Provide more resources to the Office of Lead Hazard Control and Healthy Homes’ grants.
The bill also includes several policy proposals, including a new housing choice voucher mobility demonstration, expanding the Rental Assistance Demonstration to include Section 202 Project Rental Assistance Contract properties, and initiatives to address lead-based paint hazards in affordable housing.
Contact your Senators today or tomorrow and ask them to support the FY17 THUD spending bill.
- Amendment from Senator Feinstein (D-CA) that would eliminate the HOME program’s 24-month commitment deadline. This deadline puts program funds at risk for communities and states who are unable to meet the strict time limit when committing program funds. The amendment maintains more meaningful deadlines within the HOME program, including a 4-year project completion deadline.
- Any amendment to protect funding for the national Housing Trust Fund.
- Any amendment that would increase funding for housing and community development programs.
- Amendment from Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) and Tom Cotton (R-AR) attacking the Fair Housing Act.
- Any amendments that would cut funding for housing and community development programs or divert existing resources to other programs.
To contact your Senators’ offices by phone, call the Congressional switchboard at 202-224-3121 or go to NLIHC’s website and enter your zip code in the “Contact Congress” box at the bottom right of the screen.