Advocacy Update: Senate to Advance HUD Funding Bill

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Advocacy Update | July 17, 2013

National Alliance to End Homelessness - Advocacy Update
July 17, 2013

Senate to Advance HUD Funding Bill  

The Senate Appropriations Committee, the Committee tasked with providing federal funds for key housing and homeless assistance programs, approved its fiscal year (FY) 2014 funding legislation earlier this month. The next step in the process is to advance the legislation to the full Senate for approval from the entire chamber. Sen. Mikulski (D-MD), chairwoman of the Appropriations Committee, intends for the HUD funding legislation (which is always coupled with funding for the Department of Transportation) to be a so-called litmus test for the remaining funding bills.  

 

The bill MUST have strong support in order to ensure it passes the Senate in a bipartisan fashion. We are aiming to have as many senators as possible, from both parties, allow the bill to advance to the floor and stand in support of the legislation and the funding levels it provides during debate. The legislation received bipartisan support in the Committee and we must make sure that support extends to the full Senate.  

 

Here's What You Can Do:

1. Call BOTH your senators' office THIS WEEK. Ask to speak to the person who handles housing issues for the Senator.

 a. You can find their office number by calling the congressional switchboard at 202.244.3121, or we can help you find this information. 

 

2. Explain to them you want their boss to support the FY 2014 HUD Funding legislation on the Senate floor.  

a. You can use the materials found on this page to help you make your case for key HUD programs.  

3. Let us know who you contacted and what response you get! Email Kate Seif (cseif@naeh.org) or Julie Klein (jklein@naeh.org)!

The Senate's legislation provided a significant funding increase for key programs like HUD's McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Grants, Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers, and many other programs. These increases are badly needed following sequestration and many years of underfunding and we need to work to ensure these funding levels are preserved or even enhanced throughout the remainder of the funding process.

More Information
The Senate Appropriations Committee voted to approve $2.26 billion for HUD's McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Grants. While less than the $2.381 billion requested by the Administration, this funding level would be a significant increase over last year's final sequestered level - $1.929 billion - or the House's proposed funding level of $2.088 billion. The Senate's funding level would lead to housing instead of homelessness for significantly more people than the Senate's bill and would greatly expand rapid re-housing resources.

Bipartisan passage of the legislation in the Senate, along with significant support on the floor during debate, will lead to a much stronger bargaining position for senators during final negotiations with the House that will take place later this year. This will help to ensure that the Senate's funding level for key HUD programs is maintained throughout negotiations.

This is a significant opportunity to make a tremendous impact in the Senate. Call your senators TODAY and make sure they understand the importance of HUD programs in their state and the need to provide sufficient funding to prevent and end homelessness in our nation.

Federal Policy Update Webinar Recording

On July 16, the Alliance hosted a Federal Policy Update Webinar. Alliance staff and partners covered the latest news, asks, and talking points on our top policy priorities prior to the 2013 Capitol Hill Day.

The webinar is intended to prepare State Captains and advocates attending the Conference for their congressional meetings on July 24; however, the webinar offers a great opportunity for anyone interested in these issues to learn more about proposed funding levels and the impact they would have on preventing and ending homelessness.

To view a recording of the webinar, please click here. To view the slides of the webinar, please click here.
 

Efforts Underway to Fund the National Housing Trust Fund    

There are currently two key opportunities to provide funding for the National Housing Trust Fund in both the House and Senate. Providing sufficient funding for the Trust Fund would create significant stocks of affordable housing, therefore leading to a reduction in homelessness and helping to prevent further families and individuals from falling into homelessness.
 
Now is a great opportunity to reach out to your federal officials and let them know about the need for increased affordable housing in your community.
 
Here's What You Can Do:

  

In the House:  

Encourage your representative to cosponsor the Common-Sense Housing Investment Act (H.R. 1213) introduced by Rep. Ellison (D-MN). The legislation includes the Mortgage Interest Deduction (MID) changes proposed by the United for Homes campaign, with most of the additional funds from the reform going toward the Trust Fund. 

  

In the Senate:
Encourage your senators to include the United for Homes campaign proposal around MID reform in their "blank slate" letter to Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT), Chair of the Senate Finance Committee. This is due on July 26.

 

TOOLKIT
 
McKinney-Vento Congressional Talking Points

Section 8 Congressional Talking Points

Policy Update Webinar Recording
 
BUILDING
POLITICAL WILL
The Alliance works collaboratively with its local, state, and national partners to advance policies and programs that prevent and end homelessness.
CONTACT US

Kate Seif 
Policy Outreach Coordinator 
 
 
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