We’re five months into the fiscal year and Congress is finally expected to wrap up work on FY 2018, potentially this week. Your voice is critical to ensure that housing and community development programs are funded at the highest possible level- speak up today.
Timing is key. Congress is currently trying to finalize an omnibus spending package that contains all 12 appropriations bills, including the Transportation-HUD bill. Bill text is expected to be publicly available as early as tomorrow and the House may consider the bill on Friday. The Senate will move quickly after the House acts.
Luckily, there’s a little more money in the pot, thanks to a two-year budget deal that approved an increase in FY 2018 non-defense spending by $63 billion. We’ve heard there is the possibility of a higher allocation for Transportation-HUD spending, but there is no guarantee that this additional funding will benefit housing and community development programs.
Given the current political discourse, it’s particularly important to voice support for programs that are central to restoring America’s infrastructure.
Given the current political discourse, it’s particularly important to voice support for programs that are central to restoring America’s infrastructure. HOME is a critical tool for the renovation and production of affordable housing, urge your lawmakers to provide at least $1.2 billion for HOME. The Community Development Block Grant program is a vital program that helps build communities and provides gap financing in many affordable housing projects, tell your lawmakers to provide at least $3.3 billion for CDBG. Finally, the Public Housing Capital Fund provides housing authorities with desperately-needed funding to renovate and modernize their public housing portfolio. Congress should provide $5 billion in spending for the Capital Fund.
Pressure is on for Congress to finalize spending decisions; the current Continuing Resolution (CR), which provides FY 2017 level funding for the federal government, expires on March 23. It is the fifth CR of the fiscal year. Lawmakers are aiming to have the omnibus on the President’s desk before the expiration of the current CR to avoid the need for a sixth.
This is the time for you to contact your members of Congress and tell them how important it is that they fund HUD programs at the highest possible level and finalize spending for the current fiscal year as soon as possible. Let them know how much good this funding does in your community – tell them about the people it houses, the products, infrastructure, and jobs that it pays for, the neighborhoods it improves.
Visit the NAHRO Advocacy Action Center to send an email about this vital issue to your lawmakers today. You only have a few days to make yourself heard at this stage in the process – please act now.