WASHINGTON, D.C. — The proposed FY16 appropriations bill for Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies released today by the House Appropriations Committee would do serious damage to federal housing programs that aid some of the poorest and most vulnerable families in the nation and would zero out the only new funding targeted to expand rental housing that is affordable for these families.
The Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies, chaired by Representative Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL), is scheduled to mark up its bill tomorrow, April 29 at 9:30am ET. The National Low Income Housing Coalition is urging all Members of the Subcommittee to vote against the bill.
Specifically, the bill would:
- Direct ALL funding for the National Housing Trust Fund (NHTF) into the HOME Program, and prohibit Congress from putting any other money into the NHTF.
- Cut HOME appropriations to $767 million from $900 million in FY15.
- Fail to restore vouchers cut under sequestration in 2013 or to provide funding for any new vouchers for homeless veterans.
- Underfund project-based rental assistance by $276 million. In order to renew existing contracts for 12 months, this account would need an increase of $1.2 billion. The bill provides only a $924 million increase.
- Cut the public housing capital fund by another $200 million, continuing the decline in funding needed to maintain the nation’s 1.2 million public housing units.
The NHTF is the first new federal funding in a generation that is targeted to expand the supply of rental housing affordable for extremely low income households. Implementation of the NHTF was due to begin in the summer of 2016. It is not to be funded through annual appropriations, but rather through a mandatory assessment on the volume of annual business conducted by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The proposed bill would take the dedicated funding for the National Housing Trust Fund and use it to back-fill another cut to the HOME program.
“The House THUD bill released today expresses a callous disregard for the plight of millions of Americans who labor in the low wage workforce and still cannot find modest housing they can afford to rent. It ignores the shortage of affordable housing for poor seniors and people with disabilities. A U.S. House of Representatives that could pass a bill like this while cutting taxes for corporations and wealthy people is one that is out of touch with what the American people want from their government,” said Sheila Crowley, President and CEO of the National Low Income Housing Coalition.
Established in 1974 by Cushing N. Dolbeare, the National Low income Housing Coalition is dedicated solely to achieving socially just public policy that assures people with the lowest income in the United States have affordable and decent homes