Congress and White House Reach Agreement to Reopen Federal Government for Three Weeks. Sign Letter Demanding Full-Year Spending Bills that Fund Affordable Housing.
President Trump announced on January 25 an agreement to temporarily reopen the federal government for three weeks — ending our nation’s longest shutdown in history — to give legislators time to negotiate a larger spending deal and border security. The bipartisan deal has already been approved by the Senate and could pass the House as soon as today before it heads to the president’s desk for his signature.
When the government reopens, HUD will have three weeks to start renewing rental assistance contracts, ensure homeless service providers receive delayed funding grants, and fund both public housing operations and Housing Choice Vouchers. USDA will be able to renew rental assistance and approve loans.
Three weeks will not be enough time, however, for HUD and USDA to address the backlog of work that has piled up during the shutdown. Congress must pass full-year spending bills that provide robust funding for affordable housing and community development programs.
In response to President Trump’s announcement, NLIHC President and CEO Diane Yentel issued a statement:
“The shutdown was a disgrace, causing stress and hardship for our country’s lowest-income and most vulnerable people. Over time, we will learn the extent of the longer-term damage done to the programs that serve them and to what extent the damage can be remedied. With a short-term agreement to reopen the government, millions of low-income renters and housing providers can now breathe a sigh of relief.
“But governing in 3-week increments is unacceptable…Congress and the Administration must immediately work together to enact the full-year spending bills that already have strong bipartisan support. Only with full-year spending bills will low-income renters have the security they deserve and will the programs that serve them have the assurance of the long-term funding they need to properly function.”
NLIHC and other leaders of the Campaign for Housing and Community Development Funding are circulating a national letter calling on Congress and the Trump Administration to pass full-year spending bills that ensure affordable housing and community development programs receive robust funding. Organizations and local government officials are encouraged to sign on.