Creating Homes People Can Afford and
Making Ending Homelessness in NJ a Priority!
This summer Monarch Housing and the Housing and Community Development Network of NJ and twenty-five other sponsors are holding the 2016 Congressional Reception on July 13th to begin to change the conversation. The reception provides us all with the opportunity to speak with one voice about the affordable homes crisis that affects almost half of the population in NJ and growing numbers of homeless that are overwhelming our communities.
As we approach the summer, the ability of Congress to stay the course on last year’s budget deal has become elusive. Many members of Congress including at least one from NJ are fighting to make deeper cuts in the 2017 budget.
The budget deal did not help resolve the shortfalls in funding for HUD and Health and Human Services (HHS);
- Since 2010, spending for domestic programs decreased 12% in real dollars;
- The funding in the budget deal was not distributed equally for all domestic programs – The HUD and HHS budgets increased 3.6% while funding for the VA increased 9.9%, Commerce increased by 6/3% and Interior increased by 5.7%;
- The Bipartisan Budget Act (BBA) raised the caps for fiscal year (FY) 16 and 17 above the sequestration levels. This raised was only enough to ensure that FY17 was not a cut from FY16. The flat funding is pre-inflation and is therefore, more like a small cut and will make appropriations even more difficult this year; and
- The fight for FY18 will be fast and furious. With the BBA of 2015 expiring, there will be an about $15 billion cut in NDD funding in FY18 unless Congress does something to replace sequestration. With a new administration and a new Congress starting January 2018, the fight for FY18 will come fast with the condensed budget process.
On July 13th we will speak with one voice, but that voice will need to speak about more than Stopping the Cuts. We need to work together to make homes people can afford and ending homelessness a federal budget priority!
Our priorities will be:
- Adequate funding for McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Grants
- Full funding for the HOME Investment Partnerships
- Full Funding for the Housing Choice Vouchers (Tenant-Based Rental Assistance)
- Ensuring Funding for the National Housing Trust Fund (NHTF)
- Expansion of the Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) and
- The Push for Stricter Lead Standards
What can each of us do to make the 2016 Congressional Reception not only successful but have an impact on the budget?
- Several advocates are going to DC on April 5th to begin the conversation on these issues and to invite the members to join us on July 13th. If you can join us, please let us know as soon as possible;
- Help us find more sponsors to help defray the costs. We now have 26 but we need more if we are going to have an impact in DC;
- Register today to attend the Reception;
- Share the Save the Date and encourage others to attend.; and
- Help us identify speakers in each congressional district.
As Dr. King said so eloquently,
In the End, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.
Let us together break the silence and speak with one voice to advocate for a budget that creates homes people can afford and makes ending homelessness in NJ a federal budget priority!
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