This is a critical week for the conference committee responsible for negotiating the differences between the House and Senate FY14 budgets, and for providing a final FY14 spending level.
Appropriators have asked the conferees to establish the spending level prior to the Thanksgiving recess so that appropriations bills can be produced before the Continuing Resolution expires on January 15.
New Jersey does not have a delegate on the budget conference; however, you can still contact your Congressional Representative and urge them to protect HUD and USDA rural housing programs.
Specifically, ask them to weigh in with the conferees with these critical requests:
Include a deficit-neutral account to fund the National Housing Trust Fund and include the United for Homes proposal to fund the NHTF in any tax instructions which you can learn more about here.
Replace sequestration for at least two years with two years of certain funding.
Provide equal sequestration relief for defense and non-defense discretionary spending. Plus, identify revenues to provide the relief, like closing tax loopholes.
Urging the budget conferees to take action this month is essential to prevent drastic cuts to housing programs.
Due to sequestration cuts instituted on March 1 of this year, state and local housing agencies are facing substantial shortfalls in funding to renew the Housing Choice Vouchers that more than 2.1 million low-income households use to rent modest private-market homes at an affordable cost.
If Congress does not cancel sequestration as part of an agreement to fund the government beyond January 2014, agencies will continue to face shortfalls, and the resulting hardships for low-income families will worsen considerably in the year ahead. Vouchers will be unavailable for up to 4,272 families in New Jersey by the end of 2014 if funding is not restored.
Call Congress today and let them know we need adequate funding!