Congress will be in recess from April 10 to April 21. This is an ideal time to attend a town hall or to schedule an in-district meeting or site visit with your federal lawmakers. We urge advocates to educate your elected officials about the importance of affordable housing, why potential budget cuts will hurt people with low incomes, and how we can increase affordable housing resources through tax reform.
Here are some resources you can use:
- Spring 2017 Issues Guide: Learn more about the top five critical issues before Congress and what advocates can ask their senators and representatives to do.
- Advocacy Toolkit and Webinar: A toolkit from the Campaign for Housing and Community Development Funding (CHCDF) includes talking points, sample op-eds, tweets, and how-to's for setting up in-district meetings and site visits. The CHCDF webinar includes information on President Trump's budget proposal and tips to effectively engage lawmakers.
- A Place to Call Home report and Success Stories: The report shows why affordable housing is a smart investment in health, education, economic mobility and the economy, and includes more than 100 affordable housing and community development success stories from across the nation.
- Town Halls in Your Community: Check out townhallproject.com to see if your lawmakers are holding town hall meetings. Here are some affordable housing related questions to ask:
- Question 1: Only one in four people who need housing assistance actually get help, and the spending caps only make this situation worse. Unless the caps are lifted, programs that keep roofs over the heads of many people in our community will see funding cuts. Where will these families go if they are evicted from their homes or have to live out of their cars?
- Question 2: President Trump ran his campaign promising to rebuild communities. But his budget proposes to eliminate resources that our state uses to revitalize distressed areas, build senior centers and health clinics, help families get out of shelters and into homes, and help low income families become homeowners. Do you think President Trump has broken his promise?
- Question 3: Many have said that President Trump's budget is “dead-on-arrival.” But it is not enough to oppose President Trump's budget. HUD's budget has already been cut to the bone. The only way to solve this problem is to lift the spending caps that would make it impossible to address the affordable housing crisis in this country. Will you commit to this?
- Question 4: Republicans in Congress are currently discussing ways to reform the mortgage interest deduction in tax reform. This raises the question of how Congress should invest the significant savings: to lower corporate or individual tax rates or to invest in affordable homes for people with the greatest needs. Do you support keeping housing tax reform dollars in housing?