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Grassroots Alert: Ask Lawmakers to Help Preserve Vital Funding for Affordable Housing

11 April 2017
 April 11, 2017

Advocate for full funding of affordable housing programs

Current federal funding is set to run out on April 28, and Congress will need to pass another spending bill when they return from Recess to keep the government operating. Representatives and Senators will be home in their districts from April 10 to April 24 for a district work period, also called the April Recess.  The April Recess is an important opportunity to highlight the importance of affordable housing programs to lawmakers in their districts.  Now is a great time to contact your legislators to advocate renewing vital rental assistance programs at appropriate funding levels for the remaining fiscal year (FY17). Members can access the NAHMA Grassroots Action Toolkit to learn how to contact their lawmakers.  NAHMA recommends members advocate for the following:

TELL CONGRESS: Pass Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 Funding Bills for HUD Affordable Housing Programs to avoid the negative impacts of another Continuing Resolution or Government Shutdown.

The following are funding levels needed to renew key housing programs:

  • Project-Based Rental Assistance: Fund the PBRA program at $11 billion
  • Housing Choice Vouchers: Fund the HCV program at $21 billion
  • HOME Program: Fund HOME at $950 million
  • Elderly Housing: Fund Section 202 at $505 million
  • Supportive Housing for Persons with Disabilities: Fund Section 811 at $154 million
  • Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) – Fund RAD at $4 million, include proposals to facilitate additional conversions of HUD-assisted properties:
    • Increases the current unit cap on Public Housing conversions to 250,000;
    • Eliminates the deadline of September 30, 2018, for submission of RAD applications;
    • Enables Section 202 PRAC properties to convert to Section 8 contracts;
    • Promotes the preservation of multifamily properties in high-cost areas;

TELL CONGRESS: Pass Funding Bills for USDA Rural Housing Programs to avoid the negative impacts of another Continuing Resolution or Government Shutdown.

The following are funding levels needed to renew key housing programs:

  • Section 521: Renew Rural Rental Assistance contracts at $1.4 billion for FY17
  • Section 515: Fund the Multifamily Mortgage Program at $33 million
  • Revitalization: Fund Multifamily Revitalization Program and Rural Housing Vouchers at $37 million                                                                                          

Save and Expand the Low Income Housing Tax Credit

Tax reform is underway in Congress, and while NAHMA supports LIHTC expansion, this is the time to advocate for LIHTC preservation. Help keep the LIHTC off the chopping block by calling or writing to your legislators about its value for our industry and for our communities.

TELL CONGRESS: Preserve the LIHTC during tax reform

  • LIHTC (Housing Credit) is our nation’s most successful tool for encouraging private investment in the production and preservation of affordable rental housing.
  • Nearly all affordable rental homes developed each year in the United States rely on the Housing Credit. It has financed nearly 3 million apartments since 1986, providing roughly 6.5 million low-income households with homes they can afford.
  • For 30 years, the Housing Credit has been a model public-private partnership program, bringing to bear more than $100 billion in private sector resources, market forces, and state-level administration.
  • For Legislators: Please contact your legislators to let them know that the LIHTC is critical for both industry and the communities they represent. Ask legislators to support LIHTC by joining sign-on letters for the  Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act (H.R. 1661 and S. 548)

Strengthen your Relationship with Congress

To show Congressional members the value of quality, affordable housing in their States and Districts, invite them for a property site visit.

INVITE CONGRESS: Host a site visit

  • Property Visit: A site visit at one of your properties provides your legislator with a real-world look at how affordable housing benefits low-income individuals and families.
  • Resident Involvement: Give your legislator the opportunity to meet the individuals (and voters) served by housing assistance.

VISIT CONGRESS: Schedule a Hill visit

  • Afternoon on the Hill: Schedule a brief sit-down in D.C. to discuss housing issues or drop in to ‘constituent coffee’ hosted by the Senators and Representatives for your State or District.

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