The House of Representatives is slated to return to Washington on August 23 to vote on the budget resolution passed on August 11 in the Senate. If the House passes the resolution, the stage will be set for a $3.5 trillion infrastructure and economic recovery package, including an investment of up to $332 billion for housing and transportation. The nation has not been this close to such a major investment in affordable housing in generations.
Much more work lies ahead, and the time for action is now. The Senate Banking and Housing Committee and the House Financial Services Committee are drafting legislation to divide these funds among various housing and transportation programs.
We need your help to ensure that any infrastructure and economic recovery package includes the HoUSed campaign’s top priorities: expanding rental assistance, providing $70 billion to preserve public housing, and investing $45 billion in the national Housing Trust Fund (HTF). Together, these resources will help ensure that America’s lowest income and most marginalized households have safe, accessible, and affordable homes.
The HoUSed campaign works to achieve the large-scale, sustained investments and anti-racist reforms necessary to ensure that renters with the lowest incomes have stable, accessible, affordable homes. An infrastructure and economic recovery package is our first and best opportunity to advance HoUSed campaign priorities, including expanding rental assistance, repairing public housing, and investing in the national Housing Trust Fund at the scale necessary to address our nation’s housing crisis.
The budget resolution, approved on August 11 by the Senate, calls for more than $332 billion for housing and transportation investments in an infrastructure package. The House will return to Washington to vote on the resolution on August 23. Each Congressional committee, the Senate Banking and Housing Committee and the House Financial Services Committee, will draft legislation to divide the allocation among various programs.
The allocations for housing and transportation included in the budget resolution could allow for robust housing investments in line with or even above the $318 billion proposed for housing programs by President Biden in his “American Jobs Plan.” The $318 billion for housing programs proposed by the administration is an increase from an initial proposal of $213 billion, thanks to the hard work and tenacity of affordable housing and homelessness advocates. President Biden’s $318 billion included $105 billion in housing-related tax provisions and $213 billion in direct investments.
Help build support for the HoUSed campaign:
- Join more than 1,000 organizations nationwide by signing the HoUSed campaign petition and by circulating it among your networks. This letter is one of the most effective ways to show congressional leaders the broad support for the HoUSed campaign’s long-term policy agenda, and we regularly share this letter with members of Congress to make the case for the HoUSed campaign’s priorities for the infrastructure/economic recovery bill.
- Email your member of Congress. The following link makes emailing your member of Congress easy, providing a sample script you can use or edit as needed: https://tinyurl.com/vyukdhks
- Call your member of Congress. A call script and phone number to the Capitol switchboard to connect you to the appropriate congressional office are at https://tinyurl.com/757ptvft, and you can find your in-district congressional office phone numbers at: https://www.govtrack.us/
- Use August Recess to keep up the pressure on Congress. During August recess, (the Senate is still on recess, and the House will resume recess by the middle of this week) members of Congress will be home in their states and districts. The recess is the perfect opportunity for housing advocates to build congressional support for the HoUSed campaign’s infrastructure priorities. During this time, you can:
- Attend townhalls and ask questions to your members of Congress about their support for these investments
- Meet with your members of Congress or their staff in-district and urge them to support these investments
- Invite your members of Congress to a tour of a housing development supported with resources from the national Housing Trust Fund, or public housing in need of repairs. Invite them to meet households who are using or are in need of rental assistance
- Publish op-eds and letters-to-the-editor calling for investments in the HTF, public housing, and rental assistance. Once published, share them with your members of Congress
- Regularly engage with members of Congress on the long-term housing needs in your community and why these investments would help
NLIHC created a media toolkit that includes talking points, sample op-eds, and social media messages. As always, NLIHC staff are ready to help.
Thank you for your advocacy!