Washington, D.C. – The Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies (THUD) marked up its FY16 spending bill on June 23. While not all of the details of the bill have been released, the National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) is aware that the bill severely cuts the HOME Investment Partnerships Program (HOME), underfunds other important affordable housing programs, and contains provisions that threaten the wellbeing of low income individuals and families. NLIHC calls on Congress to end the unworkable spending caps required under sequestration that are resulting in severe cuts to critical housing programs. Most egregiously, the bill eviscerates the HOME program, cutting its funding from FY15’s level of $900 million to an FY16 level of $66 million.
NLIHC, which has advocated for four decades to preserve and promote the housing rights of extremely low income (ELI) individuals and families across the nation, expresses grave concerns about the drastic cuts in the funding of the HOME program. NLIHC calls on Senators to oppose the bill and to work together to end the sequestration caps so that all housing programs for low income people and families in America can be adequately funded.
NLIHC applauds the Senate Appropriators for leaving the National Housing Trust Fund (NHTF), which was created in 2008 to develop, rehabilitate and administer housing for extremely low income people and which has a dedicated funding source outside of annual appropriations, out of the bill where it belongs. But NLIHC expresses dismay that the bill guts the HOME Program and contains other troubling elements like its expansion of a “Moving to Work” demonstration program to 300 additional public housing authorities (from 39 today), which could potentially subject thousands of low income housing residents to rent hikes and a loss of housing assistance.
Sheila Crowley, President and CEO of NLIHC, stated: “We urge Senators to oppose this THUD appropriations bill, to undo the sequester caps, and to adequately fund all housing programs for low and extremely low income people in urgent need of housing.”
“The draconian cut to the HOME program was driven by sequestration,” Ms. Crowley stated. “Until the sequester spending caps are removed, it will be impossible for Congress to provide key programs at the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) the funds they need to effectively serve low income families and communities.”
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 incomes in the United States have affordable and decent homes.