Members of the House of Representatives filed dozens of amendments to the FY18 Transportation-HUD spending bill, which was combined with seven other domestic spending bills to form a larger package. The deadline for submitting amendments was August 25. The House Rules Committee will now decide what amendments will be offered during the House debate and vote on the spending package, which will take place the week of September 4. Several of the amendments would be harmful to fair housing efforts and to the funding of affordable housing programs; others would be beneficial.
NLIHC opposes the following amendments and urges members of Congress to vote against them if they are approved by the Rules Committee:
- An amendment offered by Representative Paul Gosar (R-AZ) to prohibit HUD from implementing or enforcing its Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) rule and assessment tool;
- An amendment offered by Representative Steve Stivers (R-OH) to shift Fair Housing Initiatives Program (FHIP) funding designated for private nonprofit organizations toward state and local governments. Currently, nonprofits use FHIP funds to help enforce fair housing laws and are responsible for addressing 70% of all housing discrimination complaints nationwide. State and local agencies may participate in the Fair Housing Assistance Program (FHAP);
- An amendment offered by Representative Clay Higgins (R-LA) to prohibit Congress from funding unauthorized programs. Congress has failed to reauthorize several HUD programs but continues to fund these programs each year; and
- An amendment offered by Representative Claudia Tenney (R-NY) that would shift funding from the public housing operating fund to the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program.
Members also submitted amendments to increase funding for several HUD programs, including Housing Choice Vouchers, public housing, Section 202 Housing for the Elderly, homeless assistance grants, Housing Opportunities for People with HIV/AIDS (HOPWA), the Home Investment Partnerships program (HOME), CDBG, lead hazard control and healthy homes programs, and housing counseling.
Representative Barbara Lee (D-CA) filed an amendment to increase funding for the US Interagency Council on Homelessness and to eliminate the agency’s sunset date. Representative Jacky Rosen (D-NV) filed an amendment to increase funding for NeighborWorks America by $35 million.