The Campaign for Housing and Community Development Funding (CHCDF) sent a letter on December 10 requesting updates to HUD’s Contingency Plan for Possible Lapse in Appropriations 2019 to Senators Mike Crapo (R-ID) and Sherrod Brown (D-OH), leaders of the Senate Banking Committee, as well as Representatives Maxine Waters (D-CA) and Patrick McHenry (R-NC), leaders of the House Financial Services Committee. Comprised of more than 70 organizations, CHCDF is an education, strategy, and action campaign led by NLIHC that works to ensure the highest allocation of resources possible to support affordable, accessible housing and community development.
HUD’s Contingency Plan provides the department guidance for continuing program operations and activities, navigating possible legal issues, and communicating with internal and external stakeholders in the event of an appropriations lapse due to a government shutdown. Last year’s historic 35-day shutdown of the federal government severely impacted HUD-run affordable housing and community development programs (see Memo, 1/22). HUD recently altered its Contingency Plan to include important provisions ensuring HUD programs can continue functioning in the event of an appropriations lapse, including allowing the continued release of Continuum of Care (CoC) funds, which help CoCs to continue providing vital services to people experiencing homelessness.
Housing advocates note HUD’s updated Contingency Plan still leaves urgent issues unaddressed, including: how HUD will maintain open lines of communication with external partners; whether HUD staff will be able to process repayment requests from public housing agencies (PHAs); whether tenants receiving voucher assistance are at risk of eviction if a PHA is unable to pay the portion of rent PHAs cover; and whether Service Coordinator contracts can be renewed for older adults living in units supported by the Section 202 Supportive Housing for the Elderly Program.
CHCDF members urge members of the Senate Banking Committee and House Financial Services Committee to request HUD to update its Contingency Plan to address the issues discussed in the letter.
CHCDF’s letter is at: https://bit.ly/35cuKUX
HUD’s Contingency Plan for Possible Lapse in Appropriations 2019 is at: https://bit.ly/2RFwjXp