House Returns to Session This Week with FY2023 Appropriations Deadline Fast Approaching – Take Action Today!

Members of the U.S. House of Representatives are set to rejoin their Senate colleagues on Capitol Hill this week, marking the official end of August recess. The new fiscal year (FY) begins on October 1, but Congress has a long road ahead to enacting an FY2023 budget. Absent a budget agreement, Congress will need to pass a continuing resolution (CR) by October 1 to maintain current levels of funding for federal programs and avoid a partial government shutdown.

Lawmakers still need to reach an agreement on how long the CR should last, as well as any provisions that could be added to the legislation. Both parties are reportedly open to enacting a CR that would last until either December 9 or December 16, buying Congress another few months to reach an agreement on the FY2023 budget. However, Republicans would like a “clean CR,” while Democrats are pushing to include additional provisions in the CR, including a request from the Biden administration for $47.1 billion in emergency funds to combat COVID-19 and monkeypox, provide additional aid to Ukraine, and supply resources to fight natural disasters. Negotiations over what – if anything – to include in the CR could stall the process and risk a government shutdown, which could have disastrous consequences for HUD’s affordable housing and homelessness programs. Even so, a government shutdown is unlikely.

Once a CR is finalized, Congress will have until the CR expires to enact an FY2023 budget. Both the House and Senate have released draft spending bills written with little or no Republican input, raising concerns that a final spending package will offer significantly less funding than either the House or Senate drafts. The House bill for Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development (THUD) would provide roughly $3 billion more for HUD’s vital affordable housing, homelessness, and community development programs than the Senate’s proposal. See NLIHC’s analysis of the House draft and the Senate draft, as well as our updated budget chart, for more information.

The FY2023 spending bill likely represents the last opportunity this year for Congress to make robust investments in affordable housing and homelessness programs. Congress 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 our annual 302(b) letter to demand that Congress provide 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:

  • $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.

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.

Senators Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Todd Young (R-IN), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Rob Portman (R-OH), along with Representatives Susan DelBene (D-WA), Don Beyer (D-VA), Brad Wenstrup (R-OH), and former Representative Jackie Walorski (R-IN), sponsored in 2021 the “Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act” (S.1136/H.R.2573). The bill proposes several key reforms to the LIHTC program that would more deeply target resources to serve households with the lowest incomes, including several of NLIHC’s priority reforms:

  • Expanding the LIHTC “basis boost” to 50% to incentivize the development of units affordable to households with the lowest incomes.
  • Expanding the “basis boost” for rural and tribal areas.
  • Strengthening the Right of First Refusal for non-profits to purchase affordable properties.

In addition to pushing Congress for robust funding for affordable housing and homelessness programs in FY23, 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 August recess advocacy toolkit to help create your message to Congress!