In our most recent “HoUSed: Universal, Stable, and Affordable Housing” national call on January 18, we received updates on federal advocacy for the “Build Back Better Act” and fiscal year (FY) 2022 appropriations, heard about the latest emergency rental assistance (ERA) reallocation research, and were given field updates from advocates in West Virginia and Tennessee. You can watch a recording of the call at: tinyurl.com/2p8t66jy
NLIHC’s Senior Vice President of Policy Sarah Saadian began by giving updates on recent developments related to the Build Back Better Act. While Congress is currently focused on voting rights, attention is expected to shift back to the act at the end of January. Senator Joe Manchin’s (D-WV) assertion in December 2021 that he would not vote for the bill as it is currently written puts the $150 billion for affordable housing it now includes at risk of deep cuts or elimination. Sarah emphasized that continued advocacy is needed to ensure that the vital housing components – including significant funding for the HoUSed campaign’s top policy priorities – remain in the bill.
Kate Walz, senior staff attorney at the National Housing Law Project, then discussed how resources from the American Rescue Plan Act can address the housing needs of victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, stalking, and human trafficking. Next, NLIHC research analyst Sophie Siebach-Glover presented an analysis of ERA data released recently by the U.S. Department of the Treasury, focusing her remarks on the first round of reallocations of states’ ERA funds. An estimated $1 billion has already been voluntary reallocated, with some of the money going to identified grantees and other funding being returned to the national pool of ERA funds.
Paige Looney of the West Virginia Coalition to End Homelessness then provided a field update on the work of advocates in West Virginia to push Senator Manchin to support the housing provisions in the Build Back Better Act. Finally, Margaret Haltom of Neighborhood Preservation, Inc. in Tennessee discussed how the organization is using court data to identify people at risk of eviction and connect them to legal representation.
NLIHC hosts national calls every week. Our next call will be today, January 24, at 2:30 pm ET. Register for the call at: tinyurl.com/ru73qan
Watch a recording of the January 18 call at: tinyurl.com/2p8t66jy
View presentation slides from the call at: tinyurl.com/yjxyxt9x