What Happened to the Tax Extenders Bill?

written by naehblog
June 29, 2010

The Alliance blog has talked before about what is formally known as the American Jobs and Closing Tax Loopholes Act (HR 4213), but is often called the “tax extenders bill”.

The bill would include funding for a number of programs, but there are two that interest us: the TANF Emergency Contingency Fund (ECF) and the National Housing Trust Fund (NHTF).

The TANF ECF is this extra pool of money helped TANF support more families during the recession and we were looking to have it renewed so that more support would be available. For more information about the TANF ECF (and family homelessness!) check out yesterday’s blogpost.

The second is the NHTF, a program created under President Bush to create affordable housing. Unfortunately, when the program was created, no money was allocated to it (it’s pretty hard to develop affordable housing with no money, FYI). The tax extenders bill would fund (we call that “capitalize”) NHTF – and more affordable housing means fewer people experiencing homelessness.

Unfortunately, last Thursday, June 24th, the House-approved bill was shut down in the Senate, with a 57 to 41 vote (60 votes were needed to pass it). Republicans and some others claimed to have withheld support because portions of the bill remained unfunded. No timeline was set as to when the tax extenders bill would be picked back up.

All in all, this means that we don’t know if the programs we mentioned will be receiving funding or if these program that help people experiencing homelessness will be able to serve as many people as they would like.

But we’ll have another chance to make a difference around the corner. Next week, the House subcommittee in charge of the HUD budget will be marking up their FY 2011 budget. So while we’ve lost this battle (for now), we can still make a difference for people experiencing homelessness and for our communities. Stay tuned to find out how YOU can help!