COVID-19 Response

Legislative Action Center

Below you will find resources and advocacy tools you can use to urge your members of Congress champion affordable housing solutions for the lowest-income people. Click here to find your members of Congress. Learn more about NLIHC's Policy Priorities.

If you have questions or need additional information, please contact Sarah Saadian ([email protected]), NLIHC’s Vice President of Public Policy, or Joey Lindstrom ([email protected]), NLIHC’s Director of Field Organizing.

Urgent Priorities for Congress

Millions of America’s lowest-income renters are facing evictions and homelessness due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, and people already experiencing homelessness are at increased risk of illness during this public health crisis. 

Congress must take immediate action to pass the essential housing and homelessness protections included in the HEROES Act and other legislation approved by the House of Representatives to ensure housing stability during and after the pandemic. 

NLIHC's recommendations for ensuring housing stability during and after the coronavirus crisis included in the HEROES Act and other legislation:

Ways You Can Take Action:

  • Send an email to your members of Congress by clicking “TAKE ACTION” below.
  • Schedule a virtual meeting with your members of Congress and/or their staff.
  • Add your organization on to two national letters urging Congress to immediately enact these critical housing investments and protections.

Note: These letters are for organizations only. Individuals can contact their members of Congress using the Take Action button below.

TAKE ACTION

NLIHC monitors the annual federal budget process and advocates for the highest possible allocation of resources to the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Housing Service to support affordable, accessible homes for the lowest-income people.

Urge your Senators and Representatives to provide the highest funding possible for affordable housing and community development. Click here to find your members of Congress.

TAKE ACTION


Any infrastructure package should include resources to increase the supply of affordable housing for families with the lowest incomes to maximize the impact on long-term economic growth. Investing in affordable housing infrastructure—through new construction and preservation—will address the underlying cause of the housing crisis: the lack of affordable homes for people with extremely low incomes.

Urge your Senators and Representatives to include housing investments in any infrastructure package, including $70 billion to repair public housing and $5 billion for the national Housing Trust Fund, as included in Representative Maxine Waters's (D-CA) "Housing Is Infrastructure Act" (H.R. 5187). Click here to find your members of Congress.

TAKE ACTION


Bills Supported by NLIHC (by issue area)

Any new federal housing resources must be targeted to address the underlying cause of the affordable housing crisis – the severe shortage of affordable homes for people with extremely low incomes. Urge your Senators and Representatives to cosponsor (or thank them if they already have) the bills below that would build and preserve affordable rental homes. Click here to find your members of Congress.


Housing Is Infrastructure Act

Original cosponsors for H.R.5187/S. 2951: Representative Maxine Waters (D-CA) and Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA)

The Housing is Infrastructure Act would provide a one-year investment of $5 billion for the national Housing Trust Fund and $70 billion to address all of the capital backlog needs of public housing. NLIHC is committed to working with advocates and congressional leaders to ensure these robust investments are included in any infrastructure package enacted by Congress in order to increase and preserve the supply of affordable, accessible homes for people with the lowest incomes.

TAKE ACTION


American Housing and Economic Mobility Act

Original cosponsors for S.787/H.R.1737: Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), and Ed Markey (D-MA), along with Representatives Cedric Richmond (D-LA), Barbara Lee (D-CA), and Gwen Moore (D-WI).

If enacted, this ambitious proposal would help end housing poverty and homelessness in America by directly addressing the underlying cause of the affordable housing crisis – the severe shortage of affordable rental homes for people with the lowest incomes – through a robust investment of nearly $45 billion annually in the national Housing Trust Fund. The bill also includes resources to repair public housing, build or rehabilitate housing on tribal and Native Hawaiian lands, and create and preserve affordable homes in rural areas.

TAKE ACTION


Affordable Housing Tax Credit Improvement Act

Original cosponsors for S.1703/H.R.3077: Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Ron Wyden (D-OR), and Todd Young (R-IN), along with Representatives Suzan DelBene (D-WA), Don Beyer (D-VA), Kenny Marchant (R-TX), and Jackie Walorski (R-IN).

The Affordable Housing Tax Credit Improvement Act would expand the Housing Credit by 50% over five years and make important reforms to help the program better serve families with the lowest incomes as well as rural and tribal communities.

TAKE ACTION


Fulfilling the Promise of the Housing Trust Fund Act

Original cosponsors for H.R. 5599: Representatives Denny Heck (D-WA), Wm. Lacy Clay (D-MO), and Earl Blumenauer (D-OR).

The Fulfilling the Promise of the Housing Trust Fund Act would significantly increase funding for the national Housing Trust Fund (HTF), which provides states resources to build and preserve rental homes affordable to the lowest-income people in America. The bill preserves and redirects an existing 10-basis point – or 0.1% – “guarantee fee” currently levied by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to the HTF, increasing funding to the program by billions every year.

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Low wages, wage inequality, racial inequities, and a severe shortage of affordable rental homes leave too many people unable to afford their housing. Below are bills before Congress that would help close the significant gap between renters’ wages and the cost of rental homes across the United States. Click here to find your members of Congress.

Family Stability and Opportunity Vouchers Act

Original cosponsors for S.3083: Senators Todd Young (R-IN) and Chris Van Hollen (D-MD)

The Family Stability and Opportunity Vouchers Act would provide 500,000 new housing vouchers and counseling services to help families with children move to areas of opportunity. The bill is also supported by the Opportunity Starts at Home campaign.

TAKE ACTION


Rent Relief Act and the Housing, Opportunity, Mobility, and Equity (HOME) Act

Original cosponsors of the Rent Relief Act (S.1106/H.R.2169): Senators Kamala Harris (D-CA), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), and Maggie Hassan (D-NH) and Representatives Danny Davis (D-IL), Scott Peters (D-CA), and Jimmy Gomez (D-CA).

Original cosponsors of the HOME Act (S.2684/H.R.4808): Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Representative Jim Clyburn (D-SC).

  • NLIHC’s chart comparing these renters’ tax credit proposals

TAKE ACTION


Far too many families are struggling to keep a roof over their heads. Nearly 11 million families spend more than half of their income on rent, and the number of people experiencing homelessness has increased nationally over the past few years. Below are bills before Congress that would help prevent evictions and end homelessness. Click here to find your members of Congress.

Eviction Crisis Act

Original cosponsors of S.3030: Senators Michael Bennet (D-CO), Rob Portman (R-OH), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), and Todd Young (R-IN).

The Eviction Crisis Act establishes a national housing stabilization fund to help families facing a financial shock avoid eviction. The bill is also supported by the Opportunity Starts at Home campaign.

  • Factsheet from the Opportunity Starts at Home campaign

TAKE ACTION


Ending Homelessness Act

Original cosponsors of H.R.1856Representative Maxine Waters (D-CA).

The Ending Homelessness Act proposes to invest more than $13 billion over five years, including $1 billion annually for the national Housing Trust Fund, to address the shortage of affordable housing and to combat homelessness.

TAKE ACTION


Ensuring Equal Access to Shelter Act of 2019

Original cosponsors of H.R.3018/S.2007: Representative Jennifer Wexton (D-VA) and Senator Brian Schatz (D-HI)

The Ensuring Equal Access to Shelter Act of 2019 would prevent HUD from implementing its proposed anti-transgender change to the Equal Access Rule. This proposed rule would remove protections against discrimination for transgender and gender-nonconforming people experiencing homelessness, severely limiting their ability to access emergency shelters and services.

  • Submit a comment to HUD in opposition to this harmful proposed rule before the September 22 deadline.
  • Find additional advocacy tools and resources at www.HousingSavesLives.org
  • Contact your members of Congress and urge them to support the “Ensuring Equal Access to Shelter Act of 2019” by clicking “TAKE ACTION” below.

TAKE ACTION


Ensuring Equal Access to Shelter Act of 2019

Original cosponsors of H.R.3018/S.2007: Representative Jennifer Wexton (D-VA) and Senator Brian Schatz (D-HI)

The Ensuring Equal Access to Shelter Act of 2019 would prevent HUD from taking steps to roll back protections for transgender people experiencing homelessness and seeking shelter – a move that would literally put lives at risk.

  • See NLIHC's Memo article for information on the bill. More information will be available after the proposed rule is released.

TAKE ACTION


Fair Chance at Housing Act

Original cosponsors of H.R.3685/S.2076: Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and Senators Kamala Harris (D-CA) and Cory Booker (D-NJ)

The Fair Chance at Housing Act would reform the ways in which public housing authorities and owners of federally-assisted housing screen out applicants or evict tenants based on their involvement with the criminal justice system.

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For decades, Congress has failed to provide adequate funding to maintain public housing and other federally assisted housing in good condition, and as a result, billions of dollars are needed to address the backlog in capital improvement needs. Click here to find your members of Congress.

Public Housing Emergency Response Act

Original cosponsors of H.R.4546/S.3212: Representative Nydia Velazquez (D-NY) and Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)

The Public Housing Emergency Response Act fully addresses the $70 billion capital needs backlog to repair and preserve public housing for current and future generations.

TAKE ACTION


Learn more about NLIHC’s Disaster Housing Recovery work, including additional resourcesClick here to find your members of Congress.

Reforming Disaster Recovery Act

Original cosponsors of H.R.3702/S.2301*: Representatives Al Green (D-TX) and Ann Wagner (R-MO) and Senators Brian Schatz (D-HI) and Todd Young (R-IN)

The Reforming Disaster Recovery Act would permanently authorize and reform the federal government’s primary long-term disaster rebuilding program, the Community Development Block Grant-Disaster Recovery program, which provides states and communities with the flexible resources needed to rebuild affordable housing and infrastructure after a disaster.

*Please note that an updated bill will be reintroduced with Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC).

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Housing Victims of Major Disaster Act

Original cosponsors of S.1605/H.R.2914: Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Representative Adriano Espaillat (D-NY)

The Housing Victims of Major Disasters Act would require the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to activate the Disaster Housing Assistance Program to provide temporary rental assistance and wrap-around services to those households displaced by disasters.

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