August Recess Advocacy: Last Week to Take Action!

Sept 9, 2015 - Article provided by NAHRO

 

Your members of Congress returned to Washington this week and will make critical decisions about spending for the upcoming fiscal year. Housing and community development programs will suffer unless lawmakers are able to come to an agreement to restore responsible funding levels.

Throughout August, NAHRO members have sent nearly 1,000 messages to your members of Congress.  Help us reach the goal of 1,000 by taking action today! Click here to access the letters we have prepared for you in our Advocacy Center.  If you are a commissioner, please click here to use the featured letter in the Advocacy Center, “Commissioners – Tell Your Lawmakers to Approve a Budget Deal,” which is tailor-drafted for commissioners to send to your members of Congress. If you are not a commissioner, please click here to use the second letter in the Advocacy Center, which is titled “August Advocacy Action Item: Tell Your Legislators to Pass a Budget Deal Now.”

Once again, the appropriations process has broken down. A major contributor to the failure of regular order is the artificial cap placed on spending for the upcoming fiscal year by the Budget Control Act of 2011 (BCA). This BCA cap for FY 2016 is not high enough to maintain the critical programs and services upon which all Americans depend. A deal is needed to raise spending for the upcoming fiscal year, but so far Congressional leadership has refused to begin budget discussions.

The FY 2016 House Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (T-HUD) 302(b) allocation demonstrates this problem. Irresponsibly low funding allocated to the T-HUD bill required appropriators to make steep cuts to housing and community development programs that help pull many of American’s most vulnerable citizens out of poverty.

This low funding level led to massive cuts to housing and community development programs in the House and Senate FY 2016 T-HUD bills - particularly the devastating 93 percent cut proposed in the Senate's bill. 

Unfortunately, if spending levels aren’t increased, this would be yet another year of cuts after several years of austerity that has gutted spending on many critical housing and community development programs.

As administrators or recipients of these services, you are in a unique position to tell the story of how budget cuts to T-HUD have impacted your community and why increased investment in these programs is needed. Please take the time to edit the letter with the story of your community so your legislators know the true extent of the problem. 

If you’ve sent the letter and are still looking for other ways to get involved, you can:

  • Visit the Campaign for Housing and Community Development Funding’s advocacy website for other tools and tips on how to fight the BCA caps this summer. Click here to visit the page.