The appropriations process is in full swing in Congress. Last week, the Senate passed its FY 2017 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (T-HUD) spending bill. Despite a devastating initial cut to the overall spending level for T-HUD, Senate appropriators drafted a responsible bill while still adhering to the overall spending cap set in November. Funding levels for housing and community development programs are better than anticipated, and NAHRO thanks its members for their strong support of the bill.
NAHRO remains committed to working with HUD to make sure that our membership’s concerns are heard and that the upcoming AFH tools take into account the views of HUD’s stakeholders.
Some Senators tried to introduce controversial amendments that threatened to derail the progress of the bill. Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah) tried to introduce an amendment to defund enforcement of HUD’s Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) rule. This amendment was never voted on. Instead, Senator Susan Collins (R-Maine)–the chairperson of the Senate T-HUD Subcommittee–with support from Jack Reed (D-R.I.), the Ranking Member, successfully passed a motion to table the amendment. NAHRO remains committed to working with HUD to make sure that our membership’s concerns are heard and that the upcoming AFH tools take into account the views of HUD’s stakeholders.
Additionally, the critical bipartisan HOME Investment Partnerships Program (HOME) amendment introduced by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) was adopted en-bloc as a part of the manager’s package. This amendment would allow communities with HOME funds that are set to expire in FYs 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019 under the program’s 24-month commitment deadline to maintain access to those funds. NAHRO supported approval of this amendment since the statutory 24-month commitment deadline is an unnecessary and burdensome requirement that has caused communities across to nation to lose $71.8 million in funding for affordable housing. Additional information on the Senate bill amendments can be found on NAHRO’s website.
As debate on the bill progress, additional amendments may be introduced to the bill that may require advocacy action.
On May 24, the House Appropriations Committee approved its FY 2017 T-HUD spending bill. The bill will be considered by the full House in the next few weeks. Unfortunately, the House bill would provide smaller spending levels than those found in the Senate bill, with most funding level to FY 2016. As debate on the bill progresses, additional amendments may be introduced to the bill that may require advocacy action.