Congress passed a continuing resolution (CR) on September 30 to extend level funding for the federal government through December 16, giving lawmakers additional time to reach an agreement on federal funding for fiscal year (FY) 2023 and averting a partial government shutdown.
The CR passed the U.S. Senate on September 29 by a vote of 72-25, with three members abstaining, and the House on September 30, by a vote of 232-193. The bill easily passed in the Senate after West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin (D) agreed to remove a controversial measure to streamline pipeline permits, which both Republicans in the Senate and progressive Democrats in the House opposed. In addition to extending federal funding, the CR includes $17 billion in emergency spending primarily for Ukraine, and $19 billion for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for disaster relief. This funding would be used to help address the impacts of Hurricanes Fiona and Ian, as well as other natural disasters.
With the CR finalized, members of Congress will adjourn to their home states until after the November elections. However, Congressional and appropriations staff will resume negotiations over a final FY2023 spending bill throughout the month of October. Congress will need to enact a final spending bill by the new deadline of December 16, pass another CR, or risk a government shutdown.
The FY2023 spending bill represents the last opportunity this year for Congress to make robust investments in affordable housing and homelessness programs. Lawmakers must not pass up the chance to provide the significant funding needed to ensure the nation is moving towards safe, affordable, and accessible housing for all.
NLIHC and our partners in the Campaign for Housing and Community Development Funding (CHCDF) are leading a National Call-In Day on October 12 for advocates to contact their members of Congress and demand the highest possible level of funding for affordable housing, homelessness, and community development resources in FY2023. Advocates should contact their members of Congress and urge them to support significant funding for NLIHC’s top priorities:
- Full funding for the Tenant-Based Rental Assistance (TBRA) program to renew all existing contracts and expand housing vouchers to an additional 140,000 households.
- $5 billion for the Public Housing Capital Fund to preserve public housing, and $5.04 billion for the Public Housing Operating Fund.
- $3.6 billion for HUD’s Homeless Assistance Grants program to address the needs of people experiencing homelessness.
- $100 million for legal assistance to prevent evictions.
- $300 million for the competitive tribal housing program, targeted to tribes with the greatest needs.
Additionally, Congress is expected to enact a tax extenders package before the end of the year. Many tax provisions are only authorized for a set number of years, forcing Congress to periodically reevaluate and decide whether to extend expiring tax provisions. With a number of tax provisions up for extension at the end of the year, the tax extenders package represents an opportunity to make needed legislative changes to the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) program so that it better serves households with the lowest incomes. NLIHC is urging Congress to include the following LIHTC reforms in any tax extenders package:
- Provide incentives to serve extremely low-income households and people experiencing homelessness, as well as reforms to encourage affordable housing development in tribal nations and rural areas so that LIHTC better serves communities with the greatest affordable housing needs.
- Eliminate the “Qualified Contract” loophole, ensure data transparency, and clarify and strengthen nonprofits’ right of first refusal to ensure long-term affordability.
- Extend vital renter protections to tenants living in LIHTC properties.
Learn more about key reforms needed to ensure LIHTC is serving households with the lowest incomes here.
In addition to pushing Congress for robust funding for affordable housing and homelessness programs in FY2023, advocates should continue contacting their members of Congress to urge them to include these provisions in any tax extender package moving forward. Use NLIHC’s Fall and Winter 2022 Advocacy Toolkit to help create your message to Congress, and visit our Take Action page for more ways to get involved!