The House of Representatives agreed by voice vote on September 6 to move a spending package that includes the FY19 Transportation-HUD (THUD) spending bill towards final negotiations with the Senate. While the House never passed its own version of the THUD bill, the Senate had attached its version to a larger package of spending bills previously passed by the House and subsequently approved by the Senate in early August. Housing advocates are urging Congress to pass the highest possible funding levels for HUD and to support a housing voucher mobility demonstration as part of the spending package.
The House THUD bill stalled after being approved by the House Appropriations Committee because of opposition from conservative lawmakers who consider the bill’s funding levels too high, even though the House THUD bill does not renew all current rental assistance. Appropriators negotiating the final bill have indicated that the final funding allocation for the FY19 THUD bill is disappointing, with Senator Susan Collins (R-ME), who chairs the THUD Appropriations Subcommittee, saying the topline funding level “was not what I would have hoped.”
The Campaign for Housing and Community Development Funding (CHCDF) steering committee sent a letter to the House and Senate Appropriations Committees urging lawmakers to adopt the highest funding levels possible for HUD programs and to include a voucher mobility demonstration as they negotiate a final FY19 spending package. CHCDF is an NLIHC-coordinated coalition of 70 national housing, homeless, and community development organizations working together toward the highest possible funding for such programs.
The CHCDF letter states in part:
“We appreciate that both the House and Senate Appropriations Committees have proposed increases or level funding for affordable housing and community development programs administered under the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). However, given the affordable housing crisis our nation is facing, we ask that you fund affordable housing and community development programs at the higher of the levels proposed in the House or Senate bills. Additionally, we encourage you to adopt in the final bill an important provision included in the House version of the bill, the Housing Choice Voucher Mobility Demonstration program. This demonstration, recently approved by the full House with wide bipartisan support, will go a long way in achieving the full promise of the HCV program in addressing intergenerational poverty by improving families’ access to safe neighborhoods with quality schools and other opportunities.”
Please call your lawmakers today and urge them to support funding affordable housing and community development programs at the highest levels possible in the FY19 THUD bill. To look up your members of Congress and their contact information, go to: http://cqrcengage.com/nlihc/lookup?0
Read the CHCDF letter at: https://bit.ly/2Ngst5x