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Grassroots Action Alert: Ask Congress to Support Key Legislation and Make Affordable Housing an Election Issue

29 August 2016
 August 29, 2016
Category Grassroots, Latest

Election season is well underway, but Congress has important work remaining to ensure rental assistance is renewed for 2017. Please join NAHMA in requesting Congress:

  1. Fully Fund All Affordable Housing Programs –
  •  Fund 12-month Project-Based Rental Assistance renewals at $10.9 billion
  • Fund the renewal of Housing Choice Vouchers at $21 billion
  • Fund Housing for the Elderly (Section 202) at $505 million
  • Fund Supportive Housing for Person with Disabilities (Section 811) at $154 million
  • Fund HOME program by providing an FY 2017 appropriation of at least $950 million
  • Fully Fund USDA, Rural Development Programs:
    • Fund Section 521, Rural Rental Assistance, at $1.4 billion to renew all rental assistance contracts for FY2017
    • Fund Section 515, Multifamily Mortgage program, at $33 million
    • Fund Multifamily Revitalization Program and Rural Housing Vouchers, at $37 million

  1. We also encourage you to urge your Senators to co-sponsor, 2962, the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act of 2016. S. 2962 would:
  • Expand Housing Credit authority by 50 percent. This would make a meaningful step toward addressing our nation’s vast and growing affordable housing needs by enabling the creation or preservation of up to 400,000 new affordable homes over the next decade.
  • Make affordable housing financing more predictable and feasible by creating a permanent minimum 4 percent Housing Credit rate for acquisition and for Housing Bond-financed properties.
  • Permit income averaging within Housing Credit properties in order to preserve rigorous targeting while providing more flexibility and responsiveness to local needs.

More recently, Senators Cantwell and Hatch introduced S. 3237 (also titled the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act of 2016), which includes all of the provisions from S. 2962, and also adds numerous programmatic modifications that will further strengthen the Housing Credit by:

  • Making Housing Credit administration more predictable and streamlined,
  • Supporting the preservation of existing affordable housing,
  • Facilitating Housing Credit development in challenging markets like rural and Native American communities, and
  • Increasing the Housing Credit’s ability to serve extremely low-income tenants.

The NAHMA Grassroots Action Toolkit provides members with easy-to-use tools for participating in grassroots advocacy.

Join NAHMA, in partnership with Make Room, to make affordable housing an election issue.

Currently, Congressional candidates are out on the campaign trail. We must ensure that affordable housing is on their agenda. Please join NAHMA, Make Room, and organizations across the nation to send 1 million messages to Congress to get housing affordability on the agenda by Election Day.

Here are three ways you can support this effort:

  1. Sign on to the national partner letter.Sign your organization onto the national letter or sign up as an individual  urging Congress to end the housing affordability crisis.
  2. Raise affordable housing issues with your local officials. Beginning Thursday, September 1, send messages to Congress. The Make Room Advocacy Toolkit includes sample letters to the editor, emails and e-newsletters, social media messages and website promos, and questions to ask members of Congress at town hall meetings. It also features best practices for meeting with your elected officials one-on-one or inviting them to tour affordable housing developments.
  3. Spread the word. Share your campaign progress with us on social media, including messages, tours, photos, and events with members of Congress, so we can inspire others to join the campaign. Encourage your colleagues and partners who believe that housing is a critical resource for our communities to join the campaign. Find us on Facebook and Twitter

We need every voice to bring a spotlight to housing affordability crisis. Every day until Election Day, let us unite to deliver one clear message to Congress: Americans cannot afford places to live and need more affordable housing.

Please join us! We cannot achieve our ambitious goal of 1 million messages without you.

For assistance on any of these calls to action, please email or contact Scott McMillen or Larry Keys.

 

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