The House passed by a vote of 217-197 a package of six spending bills for fiscal year (FY) 2021 on July 31, including the Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development (THUD) appropriations bill. Despite limited budget caps, the bill (H.R. 7617) provides a significant increase in funding for housing programs that serve low-income people and communities. The House also adopted two amendments to block implementation of harmful HUD proposals.
The bill provides an additional $4.6 billion for HUD programs above FY20 enacted levels and prevents HUD from advancing its proposed anti-transgender change to the Equal Access Rule – a proposal that would put at risk the lives and safety of transgender people seeking shelter. The bill also bars HUD from finalizing its proposed rule to force mixed-status immigrant families – including 55,000 U.S. citizen children – to separate or face eviction from HUD housing, and takes important steps to prevent the undermining of Housing First, a proven model for addressing homelessness.
In addition, House lawmakers voted to adopt two amendments offered by Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Ayanna Pressley (D-MA), and their Democratic colleagues (see Memo, 7/27). The first blocks HUD from implementing its proposed changes to the Disparate Impact Rule of 2013 which, if implemented, would make it far more difficult for people experiencing discrimination to challenge the practices of businesses, governments, and other large entities engaging in discriminatory behavior. The second would stop HUD’s rollback of the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) Rule of 2015. HUD’s proposed changes would undo years of efforts to rectify historic, government-driven patterns of housing discrimination and segregation by allowing communities to ignore the essential racial desegregation obligations of fair housing laws.
The House rejected two amendments offered by Representative Debbie Lesko (R-AZ) that would rescind the bill’s prohibition on implementing HUD’s proposed anti-transgender changes to the Equal Access Rule. HUD’s proposal would weaken enforcement of the Equal Access Rule of 2016, which provides protections for LGBTQ people experiencing homelessness and seeking emergency shelter and services.
View the text of H.R. 7617 at: https://tinyurl.com/y6y6ezs7
Read NLIHC’s analysis of the House’s FY21 THUD spending bill at: https://tinyurl.com/y4dl7yr7
See NLIHC’s updated budget chart at: https://tinyurl.com/y6tnabuo