Engage Your Members of Congress during August Recess!

The House released and voted out of committee all 12 of its fiscal year (FY) 2023 spending bills, and the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies (THUD) unveiled its draft spending bill for FY23 on July 28. The Senate bill would provide $70 billion, including $10.3 billion in offsets, for HUD’s affordable housing, homelessness, and community development programs – an increase of $4.3 billion over FY22-enacted levels but $3 billion less than the House bill and $1.9 billion less than the amount proposed in President Biden’s FY23 budget request. See NLIHC’s full analysis and updated budget chart for more details.

More advocacy is needed to ensure that the final spending bills provide robust funding for HUD programs. Because appropriations committee leaders have not yet reached a bipartisan agreement on topline spending numbers, the draft House and Senate bills were written by Democrats without input from Republicans. Any final spending bill must garner the support of at least 10 Senate Republicans to avoid a filibuster. NLIHC expects Congress will need to enact a continuing resolution (CR) to keep the government open past the start of the new fiscal year on October 1 and to provide leadership with more time to negotiate, draft, and enact final spending bills by the end of the year.

The House is expected to return from recess this week to vote on the Inflation Reduction Act and then will return to recess until September 12, while the Senate is on recess until September 5. NLIHC encourages members and advocates to utilize the August recess, during which members of Congress often return to their districts, to meet with their policymakers and demand that they take action at the local, state, and federal levels to address the growing homelessness and housing poverty crisis. NLIHC has released a comprehensive advocacy toolkit designed to guide homelessness and housing advocates and direct service providers in advocacy efforts during the August congressional recess. The toolkit offers information about how to host site visits and in-district meetings with members of Congress and provides ideas about ways to advocate for evidence-based homelessness solutions like Housing First. The toolkit also outlines the goals and priorities of NLIHC’s HoUSed campaign, which aims to advance anti-racist housing policies and achieve large-scale and sustained investments to ensure renters with the lowest incomes have affordable places to call home.

Advocates should urge their members of Congress to support significant funding for NLIHC’s top priorities:

  • $32.13 billion for the Tenant-Based Rental Assistance (TBRA) program to renew all existing contracts and expand housing vouchers to an additional 200,000 households.
  • $5.125 billion for the Public Housing Capital Fund to preserve public housing, and $5.06 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.

Read NLIHC’s full analysis of the Senate THUD draft spending bill at: https://bit.ly/3cRMjSX

Access NLIHC’s updated budget chart at: https://bit.ly/3OL53kh

NLIHC’s August Recess Advocacy Toolkit is available at: https://bit.ly/3zRoOm3