The U.S. House of Representatives plans to vote on its draft Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (THUD) spending bill for fiscal year (FY) 2024 and on several amendments next week. The vote was initially slated for today (November 3) but is being delayed after some Republican members threatened to vote against the bill due to its cuts to funding for transportation programs, including funding for Amtrak. Because of their narrow majority in the House, Republicans can only afford to lose a handful of votes if they hope to pass legislation without bipartisan support.
House Republicans proposed significant cuts to – and even the elimination of – many HUD programs in their FY24 THUD spending bill. However, thanks to the hard work of advocates and our congressional champions, both the House and Senate FY24 draft bills provide increased funding for many of NLIHC’s priorities, including Housing Choice Vouchers (HCVs), native housing, and Homelessness Assistance Grants. Still, because of dramatic rent increases last year, neither bill provides enough resources to renew all existing HCV contracts. At the Senate’s funding levels, an estimated 6,000 vouchers would be lost upon turnover, and under the House proposal, 40,000 vouchers would be lost upon turnover.
Advocates should contact their representatives as soon as possible and urge them to support the highest level of funding possible for affordable housing and homelessness programs and to OPPOSE any harmful amendments to:
- Cut federal investments in affordable housing and homelessness, including:
- Eliminating funding for the Housing for Persons with AIDs (HOPWA) program from Rep. Davidson (R-OH) (Amendment 37)
- Cutting in half funding for Community Development Block Grants from Rep. Grothman (R-WI) (Amendment 45)
- Reducing HUD funding by $4.95 billion from Rep. Rosendale (R-MT) (Amendment 63), by 0.8% by Rep. Ogles (R-TN) (Amendment 71), or to FY19 levels from Rep. Buck (R-CO) (Amendment 163)
- Cutting funding for fair housing activities from Rep. Brecheen (R-OK) (Amendment 119)
- Cutting funding to the HUD Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity from Rep. Brecheen (R-OK) (Amendment 120)
- Prevent HUD from advancing racial equity offered by Rep. Self (R-TX) (Amendment 6) and expressing concern about HUD’s Diversity Council by Rep. Grothman (Amendment 47)
- Weaken HUD’s Equal Access rule and allow shelters to discriminate against transgender individuals experiencing homelessness from Rep. Norman (R-SC) (Amendment 13)
- Express support for drug testing HUD residents (Amendment 111) from Rep. Strong (R-AL)
- Express support for studies on “marital demographics” in assisted housing (Amendment 46) from Rep. Grothman (R-WI)
- Limit access to shelter for migrant households from Reps. Malliotakis (R-NY) and Burgess (R-TX) (Amendment #48)
Tell Congress that it cannot balance the federal budget at the expense of people with the lowest incomes!
- Contact your senators and representatives to urge them to expand – not cut – investments in affordable, accessible homes through the FY24 spending bill and to oppose any harmful amendments that would make it more difficult for people with the greatest needs to access accessible, affordable homes.
- Join over 2,100 organizations by signing on to a national letter from the Campaign for Housing and Community Development Funding (CHCDF), calling on Congress to oppose budget cuts and instead to support the highest level of funding possible for affordable housing, homelessness, and community development resources in FY24.
After enacting a 45-day continuing resolution just hours before a government shutdown would have taken place, Congress now has until November 17 to approve final spending bills or face another risk a government shutdown. The Senate passed a minibus – a package of three spending bills, including the THUD bill – on November 2.
While advocates across the country have done tremendous work to ensure that neither the House nor Senate FY24 spending bills drastically cut funding for vital HUD programs, including rental assistance and Homeless Assistance Grants, the road to enacting a final FY24 spending bill with sufficient HUD funding is steep.
The House version proposes funding HUD at $68.2 billion, a $6.4 billion (or roughly 10%) increase to HUD programs over previously enacted levels, while the Senate proposes $70.06 billion, an increase of $8.26 (roughly 13%) from FY23. HUD needs an approximately $13 billion increase in funding over current levels, however, just to maintain existing assistance. For more details about the House proposal, see NLIHC’s full analysis and updated budget chart. Learn about the Senate proposal here.
While the funding levels for HCVs provided in the Senate bill were initially expected to cover the cost of all existing HCVs, new analysis from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) indicates Congress must provide at least the funding level proposed in the Biden administration’s FY24 budget request to ensure vouchers are not lost upon turnover. Under the Senate proposal, as many as 6,000 fewer households would receive needed assistance, and under the House funding level roughly 40,000 fewer households would receive assistance.
Several harmful amendments have been proposed to the House THUD bill, including proposals to further cut funding for HUD programs, impose unnecessary barriers to accessing assistance, and limit HUD’s ability to advance equity initiatives. NLIHC will be tracking amendments as they receive a vote, and we are urging advocates to weigh in with their members of Congress. See a full list of amendments to the House THUD bill here.
Thank you for your advocacy!