Congressional appropriators in the House and Senate announced progress towards reaching a deal on a federal spending package for fiscal year (FY) 2022. The announcement came after a January 13 meeting between Senate Appropriations Committee Chair Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Ranking Member Richard Shelby (R-AL) and House Appropriations Committee Chair Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) and Ranking Member Kay Granger (R-TX).
While a final deal has yet to be reached, news of progress is welcome after a monthslong stalemate between Democratic and Republican legislators. Congressional appropriators have disagreed on overall funding numbers between defense and non-defense programs and on maintaining certain policy provisions included in the previous year’s spending bill. As a result of the stalemate, Congress has enacted a series of continuing resolutions (CRs), which maintain federal funding levels from the previous fiscal year to keep federal programs operating. The current CR is set to expire February 18, at which point Congress will need to pass an FY22 spending bill, enact another CR, or face a government shutdown.
The FY22 spending bill presents Congress with an opportunity to move our nation towards universal, stable, and affordable homes for all by making significant investments in affordable housing, including expanding Housing Choice Vouchers to an additional 125,000 households with low incomes. The House spending bill would fund HUD programs at almost $7 billion above FY21 enacted levels and includes significant funding increases to nearly all HUD programs, including an expansion of rental assistance through the Tenant-Based Rental Assistance program to an additional 125,000 households. The Senate proposal, however, would provide HUD with over $1 billion less than the House proposal and does not include the major expansion of rental assistance.
It is vital that advocates urge members of Congress to enact a final spending bill that provides the highest possible funding for affordable housing and community development programs and includes the House proposal to expand rental assistance to an additional 125,000 households.
The FY2022 appropriations bill must advance the HoUSed campaign’s bold agenda for affordable housing. We cannot let lawmakers pass up this historic opportunity to make desperately needed affordable housing investments.
Contact your members of Congress today and urge them to enact an FY22 spending bill that includes the major expansion of housing vouchers included in the House bill.