July 26 Congressional Reception and National Housing Week of Action Will Fight Budget Cuts to Housing Investments
The House Transportation-HUD (T-HUD) Appropriations Subcommittee voted at 7 PM on July 11, 2017 on a draft Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 spending bill that significantly under-funds federal housing investments that serve low income people and communities.
The full committee is expected to take up the bill as soon as later this week on these cuts to crucial housing investments.
Because of low spending limits, the draft T-HUD bill provides at least $1.5 billion less than what is needed to maintain program levels and to ensure that every household currently receiving housing assistance can remain in their homes.
The National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) and others estimate that the draft bill would eliminate more than 140,000 housing vouchers. Without this housing assistance, families face immediate risk of eviction and, in worst cases, homelessness. The draft bill reduces flexible resources used to build and preserve affordable housing and address community needs and cuts other programs.
The House T-HUD bill underscores why advocates have planned a National Housing Week of Action, “Our Homes, Our Voices,” from July 22 to July 29. During that week, local advocates will host a full range of activities, including rallies, press events, storytelling activities, letter-writing campaigns, bus tours, and more.
The Congressional Reception on Wednesday, July 26 in Washington D.C. which is just two weeks away is a featured local event for New Jersey of the “Our Homes, Our Voices” National Housing Week of Action. We are proud to partner with NLIHC and add our voices to the National Housing Week of Action.
The details of July 26, 2017 are exciting, but the most important part of the Congressional Reception is having your voice heard. The theme for the event is “No Housing Cuts.” This theme is critically important giving the proposed and devastating cuts to federal housing programs that many Americans rely upon.
If you agree with us and believe that housing is a right not a privilege, there are still a few spots left for motivated and passionate individuals. Read more in our most recent post: Registrations Exceed 300 Two Weeks Before the 2017 Congressional Reception.
All advocates are encouraged to participate in the National Housing Week of Action by planning or attending an event near you.
Some additional details about the Draft T-HUD Bill include:
Rent Policy Changes – The House bill rejects the rent policy changes proposed by the Trump administration that would have given HUD the authority to increase the financial burden on current and future tenants. These changes include providing the HUD Secretary with the authority to:
- increase a tenant’s rent contributions from the current standard of 30% of their adjusted income to 35% of their gross income;
- increase the minimum monthly rent for tenants to $50, beginning with a tenant’s first annual or interim authorization;
- prohibit tenants from receiving utility reimbursements used to cover the cost of heat and water; and
- freeze annual rent adjustments for properties receiving housing assistance.
Homelessness – The bill provides flat funding for homeless assistance programs at $2.383 billion.
National Housing Trust Fund – The House bill rejects the President’s proposal to eliminate the national Housing Trust Fund, the first new federal housing resource in decades. This program is exclusively targeted to serve people with the lowest incomes.