Congress returns from August recess this week and will get to work on a continuing resolution (CR) to keep federal programs, including HUD’s housing programs, funded until mid-December. A CR is necessary if Congress does not pass an FY15 HUD appropriations bill before September 30. While a CR will only fund programs at their FY14 levels, a stronger FY15 appropriations bill with strong funding levels would be much better for housing programs. For example:
- A CR would only fund HUD’s homeless assistance programs at 14% less than the $2.406 billion level requested by President Obama for FY14.
- At FY14 levels, the housing choice voucher program would be funded at $1.2 billion less than the amount needed to bring back the 40,000 vouchers lost because of 2013’s sequestration, and not yet restored.
- And, for the critical public housing operating and capital funds, FY14 funding levels are less than both the President requested and the Senate’s FY15 appropriation bill would provide.
At this point, it is unlikely that Congress will pass a full HUD appropriations bill, but will rather move forward with a CR to fund programs just beyond the November elections.
Please join us in calling your Members of Congress to ask them to contact the Chair or Ranking Member of the Appropriations Committee and tell them that providing adequate funding for the McKinney-Vento homeless assistance programs, the housing choice voucher program, the public housing operating and capital programs, the HOME program, and HUD programs are top priorities.
WHY THIS IS IMPORTANT
The House and Senate are back from their August recess for just a couple of weeks before another recess prior to the elections. During this time, Congress must pass some mechanism to fund programs after the start of the next fiscal year, which begins on October 1. Housing programs will be better off if Congress adequately funds them in FY15 rather than continuing FY14 funding levels.
HOW YOU CAN TAKE ACTION
- Pick up the phone! Call your Senators and Representative this week and ask to speak to the staff person who works on housing issues.
- Make the ask! Urge them to support sufficient funding for McKinney-Vento homeless assistance grants, tenant-based rental assistance, public housing, HOME, and other important programs.
- Report back. Contact us to let us know what type of response you are getting when making your calls. We want to be able to track any progress that is being made. Reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Spread the word. Forward this action alert to your networks with the phone numbers of your Senate and House offices.
To find the contact information for your Senators and Representative, simply visit NLIHC’s website and enter your zip code in the “Contact Congress” box at the lower right of the screen. When calling, make sure to ask for the staff person who works on housing issues.
See NLIHC’s budget chart: http://bit.ly/MLyt2i.Filed under: National Politics