Monarch Housing https://monarchhousing.org Building Homes Transforming Lives Since 1990 Fri, 26 May 2017 12:34:55 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.7.5 https://monarch-monarchhousingas.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/cropped-favicon.ico-150x150.png Monarch Housing https://monarchhousing.org 32 32 3439124 House Leaders Call on Congress to Raise the Spending Caps https://monarchhousing.org/2017/05/26/spending-caps/ https://monarchhousing.org/2017/05/26/spending-caps/#respond Fri, 26 May 2017 12:34:55 +0000 https://monarchhousing.org/?p=36558 The 2018 spending caps are far too low and would leave our country unable to make investments critical to our families, our economy, and our security.

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2018 Spending Caps Could Threaten America’s Economy and Security

On May 18, 2017, NDD United held a press conference calling on Congress to raise the 2018 spending caps.

Participating in the press conference were:

If no action is taken, Congress will face irresponsible and arbitrary austerity-level caps that threaten our country’s economy, security, and standing as a global leader.

The members also called for Congress to continue the tradition of parity—equal amounts of spending increases for defense and non-defense programs—that previous bipartisan agreements on the spending caps have implemented.

In contrast, President Trump’s budget blueprint increased defense spending levels at the expense of non-defense investments, a short-sighted and cold-hearted proposal that guts services and programs vital to American families. This is our overview of the budget – Trump’s Budget More “Robin Hood in Reverse” With Gimmicks.

“The current 2018 spending caps are far too low and would leave our country unable to make investments critical to our families, our economy, and our security,” said Yarmuth. “Unfortunately, President Trump’s budget blueprint takes us in the wrong direction, cutting even more funding for programs that support health research, environmental protection, housing programs, diplomacy initiatives, and much more. Members of Congress of both parties have the responsibility – and the opportunity — to invest in both non-defense and defense spending, boost economic development, and guarantee that every American family has the chance to build a better future. We’ve raised the caps in a bipartisan manner before, and we must do so again.”

“A failure to raise existing spending caps on defense and non-defense – combined with our late start and an erratic President who seems to want a government shutdown – would set this year’s Appropriations process up for failure,” said Lowey. “We need a budget framework that makes it possible for Congress to pass responsible spending bills, and fulfill our responsibilities at home and abroad. Democrats will again work in good faith in this critical process, but we will not help pass spending bills that jeopardize investments in hardworking American families.”

“I was proud to stand with my Democratic colleagues and NDD United this morning to call for robust investment in our domestic priorities,” said Hoyer. “On Tuesday, the President is expected to unveil a budget that busts through spending caps for defense while slashing domestic investment, which are also critical to our defense. We can’t have a secure nation if our citizens aren’t educated, aren’t healthy, and don’t have access to opportunities. Democrats will continue to demand parity between defense and non-defense spending, and I urge my Republican colleagues to reject the Trump budget and work with us to raise the caps.”

“Folks we represent want Congress to help get this economy cooking and make our communities safer and more prosperous,” said Kilmer. “But President Trump’s budget proposal hurts cops on the beat, families in rural communities that want clean water flowing to their homes, and businesses that need to get their products to market on workable roads. The American people deserve better.”

NDD United is an alliance of hundreds of national, state, and local organizations working to protect investments in core government functions that benefit all Americans.

“Supporting public health is supporting our nation’s security. Diseases like Ebola, Zika, and the next as yet unidentified infectious disease don’t stop at our borders, and threaten the health and wellbeing of Americans here and abroad,” said Ben Corb, NDD United Co-Chair with American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.

Photos from the Press Conference

NDD United

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Consequences of Sequestration and the Trump Budget https://monarchhousing.org/2017/05/25/sequestration-trump-budget/ https://monarchhousing.org/2017/05/25/sequestration-trump-budget/#respond Thu, 25 May 2017 15:47:27 +0000 https://monarchhousing.org/?p=36545 In the five years since the passage of the Budget Control Act of 2011 (BCA), discretionary programs have been slashed by $2T under sequestration budget cuts

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Returning to Sequestration Levels Would Have Devastating Effects

On May 17, 2017, the NDD United Steering Committee sent a letter to House and Senate Budget Committee Members reinforcing the positions from its February sign on letter in regards to the impact of sequestration as Congress turns to the FY 2018 budget.

Congressional Democrats have been ramping up for the fight to raise the discretionary spending caps established by sequestration. Senate Appropriations Committee Ranking Member Patrick Leahy sent a letter to Chairman Enzi and Ranking Member Sanders outlining both the damage that would be done by returning to post-sequester levels or even worse, the Trump Budget.

The administration is expected to release its full budget on May 23rd.

In the five years since the passage of the Budget Control Act of 2011 (BCA), discretionary programs have been slashed by $2 trillion under post-sequestration budget cuts.

The resulting cuts have taken their toll on everything from the readiness of U.S. armed forces, to millions of families not receiving heating assistance, and drastic cuts to federal investment in job training and employment programs.

In Fiscal Year 2018, post-sequestration budget caps are set to return under the BCA, which are $4.9 billion below fiscal year 2017 levels. This is on top of an estimated $12.8 billion shortfall due to revised fee estimates and required spending over which Congress has little control.

Without a cap increase non-defense discretionary programs will have to absorb cuts $15.7 billion dollars below the fiscal year 2017 level.

On top of these cuts, President Trump has proposed slashing an additional $54 billion from non-defense programs to pay for his defense increase. Assuming, as the Trump Administration has indicated, an increase for veterans’ funding and border security, this would result in a 13 percent cut to non-defense discretionary programs.

In his letter, Leahy urges the Senate Budget Committee to reach a bipartisan agreement that would maintain parity between defense and non-defense discretionary programs and avert the devastating consequences of sequestration and the cuts proposed by the administration.

Leahy wrote: “Proposing such draconian cuts constitutes a fundamental lack of understanding of the role such programs play in securing our nation, creating jobs, caring for our veterans, promoting our health and the environment, and helping our most vulnerable citizens.”

NDD United is an alliance of hundreds of national, state, and local organizations working to protect investments in core government functions that benefit all Americans. The programs–known in the nation’s capital as nondefense discretionary or “NDD” programs—include:

  • veterans affairs,
  • medical and scientific research;
  • education and job training;
  • infrastructure;
  • public safety and law enforcement;
  • public health;
  • weather monitoring and environmental protection;
  • natural and cultural resources;
  • housing and social services; and
  • international relations.

Each day these programs support economic growth and strengthen the safety and security of every American in every state and community across the nation.

Senator Leahy’s Full Letter

NDD United

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Gubernatorial Candidates Lay out Their Plans on Affordable Housing https://monarchhousing.org/2017/05/25/gubernatorial-candidates-affordable-housing/ https://monarchhousing.org/2017/05/25/gubernatorial-candidates-affordable-housing/#respond Thu, 25 May 2017 12:46:54 +0000 https://monarchhousing.org/?p=36531 On May 12, 2017, POLITICO New Jersey published an article, “Gubernatorial Candidates Lay out Their Plans on Affordable Housing.”

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How Would the Gubernatorial Candidates Solve NJ’s Affordable Housing Crisis?

On May 12, 2017, POLITICO New Jersey published an article, “Gubernatorial Candidates Lay out Their Plans on Affordable Housing.”

On Tuesday, November 7, 2017, New Jerseyans will elect a new governor. Leading up to that general election, the Democratic and Republican parties will hold primary elections on Tuesday, June 6, 2017.

New Jersey has an affordable housing crisis is a complicated problem that is getting worse.

  • The crisis is impacted by New Jersey’s high foreclosure rate and very high cost of living.
  • And the problem could be compounded by potential cuts in federal housing funding.

“The issue of finding homes for the residents in the state’s lowest income bracket is a policy fight marked by resources that are increasingly strained and tainted by decades of legal disputes. Whomever assumes the governorship will need to navigate the state’s crippling foreclosure rates and sky-high cost of living, combined with potential cuts in housing-related aid from Washington. In addition, hundreds of municipalities will soon be saddled with newly assigned affordable housing requirements, as towns and advocates duke it out in court.”

POLITCO New Jersey asked the six leading candidates to lead the state how they would solve New Jersey’s affordable housing crisis.

As a summary of where they stand:

“The two major Republican candidates — Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli and Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno — focused on overhauling how the state hands out affordable housing obligations. The current approach of Superior Court judges assigning housing quotas to each town is not working, they said. Instead, they said, formula should be reworked to put the housing where there are jobs and public transit.”

And “The four main Democratic candidates — Jim Johnson, Sen. Ray Lesniak, Phil Murphy and Assemblyman John Wisniewski — presented plans that focused on beefing up resources and expanding tax credits for the construction of affordable units. Interestingly, there was a specific, kill two birds with one stone approach that emerged — flipping foreclosed homes into affordable ones. The approaches were varied, but the sentiment similar in that a blemish on New Jersey’s record as the state with the highest foreclosure rate in the nation could be an untapped opportunity.”

The article goes into more specific plans from each of the candidates and quotes their ideas.

As we reported – Gubernatorial Candidates Endorse Building a Thriving NJ in Union County – support is building for the Build a Thriving NJ campaign.

Politico NJ Article

Build a thriving NJ

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Health Care and Medicaid Battle Shifts to the Senate https://monarchhousing.org/2017/05/24/medicaid-battle-senate/ https://monarchhousing.org/2017/05/24/medicaid-battle-senate/#respond Wed, 24 May 2017 16:17:46 +0000 https://monarchhousing.org/?p=36525 Senators Booker and Menendez need to hear about the potential negative impact the AHCA and the end of Medicaid expansion would have on your clients.

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Tell Senators Booker and Menendez that the AHCA Would Threaten Medicaid Expansion

The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities has shared this update on threats to the Affordable Care Act and the Medicaid expansion.

Earlier this month, the House passed the American Health Care Act (AHCA.) Now the debate moves to the Senate.

Senators are currently negotiating changes to the AHCA and it is unclear when a bill will be finalized. Now is the time for action!

Particularly important to those engaged in integrating housing and health for people with complex needs, the AHCA would threaten care for everyone who relies on Medicaid by radically restructuring the program and capping federal funding to states.

The bill would also effectively end Medicaid expansion. This would threaten the gains made in streamlining housing and health for consumers because they could lose their Medicaid eligibility. Providers could lose Medicaid reimbursement for services such as mental health care and substance use treatment.

Senators Booker and Menendez need to hear from you about the potential negative impact the AHCA would have on you and your clients.

Please share with our Senators stories about the role Medicaid has played in the lives of your clients, especially if you work with people who are covered through Medicaid expansion.

You can share these stories via social media, in traditional media or via your organization’s regular correspondence with the public and members of Congress.

You can use the staff contact names and email addresses to reach out to Senator Booker and Menendez’s offices and tell them that AHCA would negatively impact you or your clients. Be sure to share your story.

Senators Booker and Menendez and voiced their support for protecting health care for all Americans but it is still important for them to hear from you!

Some key things to remember about the potential harmful effects to the AHCA are:

  • Medicaid works for women, and cuts to Medicaid would disproportionately harm women
  • The House health bill ends Medicaid as we know it
  • The House bill can’t be fixed

Contact Senator Booker

Contact Senator Menendez

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Gap Between Renters’ Wages and Cost of Rental Housing https://monarchhousing.org/2017/05/24/rental-housing-cost/ https://monarchhousing.org/2017/05/24/rental-housing-cost/#respond Wed, 24 May 2017 12:46:08 +0000 https://monarchhousing.org/?p=36518 In order to afford a modest two-bedroom rental housing in NJ, a family must earn an hourly wage of $26.52, far more than the state’s the $8.38 minimum wage.

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NLIHC to Release 2017 Out of Reach Report June 8 on Cost of Rental Housing

On Thursday, June 8, 2017, the National Low Income Housing Coalition will release the 2017 edition of its annual report, Out of Reach on the high cost of rental housing.

Out of Reach documents the gap between renters’ wages and the cost of rental housing in every state and jurisdiction in the country.

Representative Keith Ellison (D-MN) is writing the preface of this year’s report. On Friday, June 9, 2017 at 2:00 p.m., the NLIHC will hold a special webinar for its members about the report’s findings.

The Out of Reach report shows what the Housing Wage is throughout the country. The Housing Wage is the hourly wage a full-time worker must earn to afford a modest and safe rental home without spending more than 30% of his or her income on housing costs based on the U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Fair Market Rent (FMR.) The FMR is an estimate of what a family moving today can expect to pay for a modest rental home in the area.

Out of Reach compares the Housing Wage to prevailing renter wages and incomes. The report shows how many hours an individual must work each week for 52 weeks a year at the prevailing minimum wage to afford a modest one- and two-bedroom apartment.

As a new feature this year, Out of Reach 2017 will provide Housing Wages and prevailing renter wages not just nationally and by state, county and jurisdiction, but also at the ZIP code (Small-Area Fair Market Rent) level.

Out of Reach 2016 found that in New Jersey, the Fair Market Rent (FMR) for a two-bedroom apartment was $1,379. In order to afford this level of rent and utilities — without paying more than 30% of income on housing — a household must earn $4,596 monthly or $55,152 annually.

In order to afford a modest two-bedroom home in the Garden State, a family must earn an hourly wage of $26.52, far more than the state’s average hourly wage of $16.98 or the $8.38 minimum wage.

New Jersey had the 5th most expensive rental market in the United States.

Out of Reach 2016

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FY18 Budget and Why NJHillDay is Critical to Ensure No Cuts to Housing https://monarchhousing.org/2017/05/23/fy18-budget-njhillday/ https://monarchhousing.org/2017/05/23/fy18-budget-njhillday/#respond Tue, 23 May 2017 16:53:47 +0000 https://monarchhousing.org/?p=36541 The proposed FY18 Budget cuts could mean more than 250,000 people could lose their housing vouchers. This makes NJHillDay this year crucial.

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Congress Should Oppose the FY18 Budget Which Slashes Billions from Investments in Affordable Housing – Join us for NJHillday on July 26th

The National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) is unsure of the finality of the leaked budget documents but overall, Mr. Trump’s FY18 budget would slash federal investments in affordable housing at HUD by nearly 17% or $7.7 billion, compared to Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 which makes NJHillDay crucial this year.

The proposed cuts could mean more than 250,000 people could lose their housing vouchers. It would also impose punitive measures that would jeopardize family stability – increasing the financial burdens they face through higher rents and ending support to help cover the cost of basic utilities, like water and heat.

If enacted, Mr. Trump’s budget would exacerbate the growing affordable rental housing crisis in every state and community across the nation, and it would represent a clear departure from the belief that everyone deserves an affordable place to call home.

Contact your members of Congress today to oppose Mr. Trump’s budget proposal!

Click here for Monarch Housing’s advocacy toolkit.

Mr. Trump’s budget calls for:

  • Eliminating the national Housing Trust Fund, the first new housing resource in a generation and one that is exclusively targeted to help build and preserve housing affordable to people with the lowest incomes, including those experiencing homelessness.
  • The budget devastates resources needed to operate and maintain public housing that provides homes to millions of families and represents billions of dollars in critical local assets.
  • It would starve states and communities of the flexible, locally-driven resources used to address their most pressing housing and community development needs.
  • It cuts funding needed to keep low-income seniors, people with disabilities, people living with AIDS, and vulnerable individuals in safe, affordable homes, reduces funding to address serious health risks posed by lead-based paint, and even cuts resources used to address homelessness.

Although the President’s 2018 budget request provides more detail than the skinny budget released in March, it confirms what we already knew: this budget must be rejected by Congress.

The National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) will work with its allies in Congress and with residents, partners, stakeholders, and advocates across the country to ensure not only that this budget proposal is dead on arrival.

Congress should also lift the low spending caps required by the Budget Control Act of 2011 equally for defense and domestic programs and expands funding for critical affordable housing investments.

  • President Trump’s 2018 budget reflects a cruel indifference to the millions of low income people in the United States even beyond those in need of affordable housing.
  • Seniors, people with disabilities, families with children, veterans, along with other vulnerable people who are struggling to keep a roof over their heads will all be affected.
  • Mr. Trump’s budget would harm thousands of the lowest income families by taking away their housing assistance – a move that would lead to higher levels of homelessness and housing poverty – in a transparent effort to pay for tax cuts for the wealthy and billions of dollars in increased defense spending.
  • The proposed budget contradicts HUD Secretary Carson’s assurances that “nobody’s going to be thrown out on the street,” as he defended the proposal. This budget proposal is unconscionable and unacceptable.
  • The Trump budget will propose massive cuts, and we are hearing more about gravely troubling Congressional cuts and reconciliation instructions that are expected to affect Medicaid, Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP), Social Security Income (SSI) and/or other entitlements, as well as damaging cuts to nondefense discretionary (NDD) programs and massive tax cuts.

The President’s Fiscal Year 2018 budget proposal (which is expected on May 23) and the forthcoming House budget proposal (which is expected in early June) are both likely to include deep cuts to non-defense discretionary programs such as rental assistance and education programs, as well as deep cuts to mandatory programs targeted to low- and modest-income people, including the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Medicaid, and Supplemental Security Income (SSI).

Monarch encourages advocates in New Jersey to join us in Washington, DC on July 26, 2017 to share our critical message to Congress “No Cuts to Housing.”

NLIHC Budget Chart

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