The National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials (NAHRO) opposes attempts by Congress to circumvent their obligations to the nation by approving a long-term continuing resolution (CR) that would leave communities in budgetary limbo for much of the fiscal year. While we acknowledge the necessity of passing the proposed CR before Friday, December 9, to avoid a government shutdown, NAHRO urges Congress to also adopt full-year FY 2017 spending bill during the lame duck session or immediately after the 115th Congress is sworn into office in January.
The uncertainty of FY 2017 funding levels for the Capital Fund will directly impact public housing authorities’ (PHAs’) ability to provide safe, secure housing for their residents. Planned improvement projects that require the use of the Capital Fund for eligible development costs and financing will have to be put on hold until PHAs know the funding levels they will be receiving. Furthermore, lenders may be less willing to work with PHAs on modernization projects or charge higher interest rates if PHAs face the financial uncertainty of a continuing resolution. The CR will also impact capital expenditures that are used to facilitate programs that improve the empowerment and economic self-sufficiency of public housing residents, including resident job training and development of resident-owned businesses activities. These activities often require signing contracts, which PHAs will be unable to do if FY2017 funding is unclear.
A long-term CR would also create uncertainty for Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program managers and make budgetary planning decisions more difficult. This unpredictability in the funding stream may have a chilling effect on leasing decisions at PHAs, which may ultimately lead to fewer households being served.
Additionally, communities that rely upon Community Development Block Grant and HOME Investment Partnership program funding for critical projects will have to wait until a full-year bill is in place to receive funding for the fiscal year. This has a huge impact on the ability of communities and redevelopment officials to properly plan and budget for the year.
NAHRO urges Congress to address these concerns by quickly approving a full-year FY 2017 spending bill.