House Releases FY2020 Spending Bill with Robust Increases for Affordable Housing

A draft of the fiscal year (FY) 2020 spending bill was released on May 22. As Monarch Housing works with over 25 partner organizations across the state to plan for this year’s Congressional Reception, the spending bill is very relevant to the policy priorities of the Congressional Reception.

On Wednesday, July 24, 2019, Monarch Housing is partnering with over 25 other organizations from New Jersey in organizing the annual Congressional Reception.  The theme of this year’s Congressional Reception is:  Opportunity Starts at Home: Building a Necessary and Secure Foundation for Healthy Communities.
 
The National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) has provided an excellent summary of and analysis of the proposed spending bill.  Previously, President Trump threatened drastic cuts to affordable housing.  These proposed cuts left many deeply concerned about the future of programs funded through the U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development (HUD.) However, Subcommittee Chair, David Price and Ranking Member, Mario Diaz- Balart ensured otherwise, with a preliminary bill proposing $13.4 billion above the president’s FY20 request. 
 
This new spending bill also:
  • Strives to ensure equal access to the LGBTQ community and to mixed- status immigrant families. The bill proposes the suspension of Trump’s plan to reduce the LGBTQ community’s protection rights by installing single-sex facilities for everyone’s gender identity; and
  • Prevents mixed-status immigrant families from being evicted from assisted housing.
Some other key policy changes include pushing back on rent increases, stiff working requirements and Trump’s de facto time limits. 
 
In addition, according to the NLIHC, the bill will provide a variety of funding for HUD programs that fund the areas of homelessness, housing and Fair Housing.
 
Additional housing funds are dependent on the Appropriations Committee agreement after the Memorial Day congressional recess. A budget agreement is needed, or else a 10% cut from housing investments may be enforced. 
 
Attendees traveling to New Jersey for the Congressional Reception will be tailoring their messages to elected officials in Congress around the following policy priorities:
 
  • Housing & Services – McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Grants – Support a $217 million increase to $2.6 billion for McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Grants program 
  • Medicaid – Oppose any replacement of the Affordable Care Act that eliminates Medicaid expansion which plays in ensuring people experiencing homelessness receive critical healthcare services
  • Housing – Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers – Protect and expand the voucher program to help connect families to areas of opportunity with access to good schools, well-paying jobs, healthcare, and transit
  • Fair Housing – Increase funding to ensure effective fair housing enforcement and provide the necessary resources to assist jurisdictions comply with the Fair Housing Act, including their duty to affirmatively further fair housing
  • Housing Development – Low Income Housing Tax Credit (Housing Credit/LIHTC) – Expand and improve the Housing Credit to better target resources to households with the greatest needs and to increase the availability of safe and affordable housing AND National Housing Trust Fund (HTF) – Include a $5 billion expansion of the national Housing Trust Fund in an infrastructure package, $3.5 billion dedicated to comprehensive housing finance reform
 
Click here for a full analysis from NLIHC.
 
Click here for an updated budget chart from NLIHC.