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NLIHC President and CEO Diane Yentel Statement on Debt Ceiling Agreement

Washington, D.C. – House Republicans held our nation’s lowest-income people hostage in exchange for lifting the debt ceiling. By preventing necessary inflationary cost increases for critical HUD programs, this debt ceiling deal could lead to tens of thousands of families losing rental assistance during an already worsening housing and homelessness crisis. Expanding ineffective work requirements and putting time limits on food assistance, as this deal would do, adds salt to the wound and will further harm some of the lowest-income and most marginalized people in our country.

The debt ceiling agreement acts as a cut to affordable housing and homelessness programs; in FY24 alone, HUD will need at least $13 billion more in funding to maintain current levels of service due to inflation, higher rents, and interest rate hikes.

Congress must now divvy up the available funds among various departments and programs before it can enact its final spending bills. With limited resources and the need for substantial resources at HUD to maintain current levels of service, however, it will be challenging for Congress to keep housing and homelessness programs whole.

To mitigate harm, Congress must take every action possible to prevent tens of thousands of the lowest-income families losing their housing assistance. If this funding deal holds and rental assistance is cut, families will face dramatic rent increases, putting them at higher risk of eviction and, in the worst cases, homelessness.

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