The House is scheduled to vote on a series of spending bills as soon as July 29, including the Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development (THUD) appropriations bill for fiscal year (FY) 2021. Despite limited budget caps, the bill (H.R. 7617) provides a significant increase in funding to housing programs that service low-income people and communities, and contains several provisions to stop the implementation of harmful HUD policy proposals.
Several amendments to the bill will also be considered by the House. Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Ayanna Pressley (D-MA), Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), Juan Vargas (D-CA), Gregory Meeks (D-NY), Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), Nydia Velazquez (D-NY), Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), Al Green (D-TX), and Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) introduced an amendment to block HUD from implementing its proposed changes to the Disparate Impact rule of 2013 (see Memo, 7/19/2019). If enacted, HUD’s proposed changes would make it far more difficult for people experiencing various forms of discrimination to challenge the practices of businesses, governments, and other large entities engaging in discriminatory behavior.
The same members of Congress, joined by Representative Denny Heck (D-WA), also introduced an amendment that would block HUD’s implementation of its proposed changes to the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) rule of 2015 (see Memo, 1/13). The 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. NLIHC strongly supports the adoption of both of these amendments and urges their inclusion in the final House bill.
Additionally, Representative Debbie Lesko (R-AZ) proposed two amendments that would rescind the bill’s prohibition on implementing HUD’s proposed anti-transgender changes to the Equal Access Rule (see Memo, 6/8). HUD’s proposal would weaken enforcement of the Equal Access Rule of 2016, which provides protections to LGBTQ people experiencing homelessness and seeking emergency shelter and services. The 2016 rule requires housing, facilities, and services funded through programs administered by HUD to allow trans people experiencing homelessness access to accommodations in accordance with their gender identity. Trans people, and particularly trans women of color, are at an elevated risk of homelessness, sexual violence, and physical assault, making access to emergency shelter and services crucial. NLIHC opposes this amendment and urges the House not to adopt it into their final THUD spending bill.
View the text of H.R. 7617 at: https://tinyurl.com/y6y6ezs7
Read NLIHC’s analysis at: https://tinyurl.com/y4dl7yr7
See NLIHC’s updated budget chart at: https://tinyurl.com/y6tnabuo