Senator Pat Leahy (D-VT) and Senator Chris Coons (D-DE) are currently circulating a “Dear Colleague” letter in support of increasing HOME funding. NAHMA supports continued funding for the HOME program. To that end, we would ask you to contact your Senators ASAP and ask them to sign on to Senators Leahy and Coons’s “Dear Colleague” letter. Please ask your Senators to contact Lauren Brackett in Senator Leahy’s office at x 44242 or Justin German in Senator Coons’ office at x 45042 if they are interested in signing on to the letter. The sign-on deadline is COB Wednesday March 21.
When you call your Representatives offices, NAHMA would also encourage you to ask your Senators to oppose funding the project-based Section 8 contract renewals at any level less than full-12 months at the time of renewal, which is $9.94 billion.
For information on contacting your Senators, please visit: http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm
At a time when the Center for Housing Policy reports that nearly one in four working households spends more than half its income on housing costs, restoring HOME funding is necessary to addressing the growing need for affordable housing. HOME is a vital piece in financing the development and rehabilitation of affordable housing, often providing critical gap financing in conjunction with other affordable housing programs, like the low-income housing tax credit program. Since 1990, HOME funds have helped produce more than 1 million units of housing, with an additional more than 250,000 families receiving HOME funds for tenant-based rental assistance. Every $1 of HOME leverages another $4 in public and private funds and to date HOME has leveraged over $88 billion of other funds for affordable housing. In addition, funding HOME at $1.6 billion would create or preserve approximately 28,600 jobs.
For additional talking points on the HOME program, please visit: http://www.nahma.org/content/grassroots_HOME_Program.html
HUD’s FY 2013 Budget request is $1.5 billion below what is necessary to fully fund all 12-month project-based Section 8 contracts at the time the contracts are renewed. The budget only requests appropriations to fund the contracts through FY 2013-which runs from October 1, 2012 through September 30, 2013. However, Section 8 contracts are renewed during every month in the calendar year, and they have 12 month terms. Many contracts that are renewed during FY 2013 will not expire until sometime in FY 2014. HUD’s budget would short-fund two-thirds of the contracts, particularly those that renew in January through September 2013, by paying only for the months of the contract that run through September. Funding for the remaining months of the short-funding contracts would be pushed into FY 2014, which would add to the administrative burden of reprocessing all of these contracts, and put HUD even further behind in its ability to fund the 12 month contract terms for FY 2014.
HUD used the same “incremental contract funding” gimmick before, which resulted in delayed housing assistance payments to project-based Section 8 properties and major disruptions to property operations. Furthermore, reducing funding for this important program could hurt 1.3 million households (many who are elderly and disabled), over 100,000 jobs, and local economies nationwide.
For additional talking points on the project-based Section 8 program, please visit: http://www.nahma.org/content/grassroots_PBS8.html