President Biden and congressional leaders are crafting an agreement with moderate Democrats to drastically cut the “Build Back Better Act” economic recovery package. The Washington Post reported on October 2 that “the administration’s housing proposal, which called for more than $300 billion to build or retrofit over three million housing units, may prove among the first to hit the cutting room floor.” We cannot let them squander this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to end homelessness! TAKE ACTION NOW to ensure that any cuts made to the overall package do not come at the expense of getting and keeping the country’s lowest-income people housed.
Congress and the administration continued work to advance a bipartisan infrastructure bill and the $3.5 trillion reconciliation package containing NLIHC’s HoUSed campaign’s top policy priorities: $90 billion to expand housing vouchers, $80 billion to make critically needed repairs to public housing, and $37 billion for the national Housing Trust Fund to construct, preserve, and operate deeply affordable housing.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) planned to bring the Senate-passed bipartisan infrastructure bill to the House floor for a vote on September 30, but the vote was postponed after House progressives refused to commit to passing the infrastructure bill unless substantial progress was made on the Bill Back Better reconciliation package. Progressives are using the infrastructure bill as leverage to ensure the reconciliation package is also enacted.
Democrats’ narrow margin in the House means that Speaker Pelosi can afford to lose the votes of only three House Democrats. In the Senate, the even split between Democrats and Republicans makes every Democratic vote necessary to pass the Build Back Better bill. President Biden held meetings last week with Senators Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), the two moderate Democrat holdouts in the Senate, in an attempt to reach agreement on a framework for the reconciliation package and a topline spending number.
Senator Manchin declared on September 30 that he would not support a reconciliation package costing over $1.5 trillion – less than half of the $3.5 trillion currently in the bill. Manchin’s significantly lower price tag has led to a flurry of negotiations over reconciliation spending, indicating a final package may include significant cuts to the programs currently in the bill.
It is critical that Congress use this once-in-a-generation opportunity to prioritize investing in decent, accessible, affordable housing for those with the greatest, clearest needs – people experiencing homelessness and people with the lowest incomes. If maintained at current levels, key investments in this bill could effectively end homelessness in the U.S.
Contact your senators and representatives and urge them to ensure that any cuts to the reconciliation package do not come at the expense of proven housing solutions for those with the greatest needs and to provide the highest possible funding levels for the HoUSed campaign’s top priorities:
- $90 billion to expand rental assistance to 1 million of the lowest income households,
- $80 billion to repair and preserve public housing for over 2.5 million renters, and
- $37 billion for the national Housing Trust to build and preserve 330,000 rental homes affordable to people with the lowest incomes.
Taken together, these investments could effectively end homelessness in the U.S. Any cuts to funding for these priority programs means fewer people safely and affordably housed.
- Contact your senators and representatives and urge them to provide the highest funding possible for the HoUSed campaign’s priorities in Build Back Better Act. Educate your members of Congress on why investments in rental assistance, public housing, and the Housing Trust Fund are critical to your community.
- Join 1,600 organizations nationwide by signing the HoUSed campaign letter. This letter is one of the most effective ways to show congressional leaders the broad support for the HoUSed campaign’s priorities for the infrastructure/economic recovery bill. Sign on to the letter here.
Thank you for your advocacy!