NCSHA Submits Testimony in Support of FY 2015 Appropriations Priorities
NCSHA recently submitted testimony on HUD’s housing and USDA’s Rural Housing Service (RHS) programs in response to the House and Senate Appropriations Subcommittees’ invitation to submit outside witness testimony on FY 2015 appropriations.
In its testimony on FY 2015 HUD appropriations, NCSHA urges the Transportation-HUD (T-HUD) Appropriations Subcommittees to restore HOME Investment Partnerships program (HOME) formula grant funding to $1.6 billion, equal to its FY 2011 funding level, and provide Section 8 funding adequate to renew all expiring project-based contracts for a full year, fully fund all authorized Housing Choice Vouchers (vouchers), provide new incremental vouchers in FY 2015, allocate new flexible rental assistance to state HFAs, and ensure that successful HFA project-based contract and voucher administrators continue in and are adequately compensated for these roles. NCSHA also requests that the Subcommittees provide authority for Ginnie Mae to securities FHA-HFA Multifamily Risk-Sharing program loans.
The testimony highlights how HOME funds are used to address the whole spectrum of housing need, from homeless to ownership to disaster recovery, from urban to rural areas, and all low-income populations, including families with children, the elderly, veterans, and persons with special needs. It also discusses how HFAs use rental assistance with their Housing Credit, Housing Bond, and HOME resources to reach households at even lower income levels. The testimony states that providing authority for Ginnie Mae to securitize FHA-HFA Multifamily Risk-Sharing program loans will allow HFAs to reduce the cost of financing rental housing developments, making it possible to achieve lower rents and reach even lower income tenants.
In its testimony on FY 2015 RHS appropriations, NCSHA urges the Agriculture-Rural Development Appropriations Subcommittees to provide FY 2015 program funding levels for RHS programs adequate to maintain assistance for those currently receiving it, allow new families needing assistance to access it, and provide for the construction, rehabilitation, and preservation of rural affordable housing. NCSHA also requests that the Subcommittees ensure USDA does not administratively remove some Section 521 Rental Assistance from use.
NCSHA also submitted on behalf of the HOME Coalition it chairs a letter requesting that the T-HUD Appropriations Subcommittees begin to restore HOME funding by providing $1.6 billion for HOME in FY 2015. Twenty-one national organizations signed the letter to the House Subcommittee. The letter to the Senate Subcommittee will be submitted later this week.
In other appropriations-related advocacy efforts, NCSHA worked over the past few weeks to support Dear Colleague letters circulating among House and Senate members in support of increased FY 2015 funding for HOME, project-based Section 8, and vouchers. The House HOME Dear Colleague letter, led by Representative Marcia Fudge (D-OH), requests $1.6 billion for HOME in FY 2015 and was signed by 99 representatives. The Senate HOME Dear Colleague letter, led by Senators Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Chris Coons (D-DE), requests $1.2 billion for HOME in FY 2015 and was signed by 34 senators. Both letters received an increased number of signatures compared to last year’s letters. Senator Jeff Merkley’s (D-OR) letter requesting $10.5 billion for the project-based Section 8 program was signed by 15 senators. Representative Jerrod Nadler’s (D-NY) letter requesting $20 billion for the voucher account and an additional $320 million to restore an estimated 40,000 vouchers cut in 2013 due to sequestration received 77 signatures.
In support of overall FY 2015 funding for housing programs funded by HUD, NCSHA joined 3,266 other national, state, and local organizations in sending a letter to the House and Senate Appropriations Committees’ leadership urging them to increase to the highest possible level the FY 2015 302(b) allocation for the T-HUD Appropriations Subcommittees. The 302(b) allocations are the spending caps set for the individual appropriations subcommittees. The Committees have not yet announced the FY 2015 302(b) spending allocations.
NCSHA also recently helped coordinate and participated in a briefing held by the Campaign for Housing and Community Development Funding (CHCDF) for Hill staff interested in learning more about numerous housing programs, including the HOME, project-based Section 8, voucher, Low Income Housing Tax Credit (Housing Credit), and Housing Bond programs.
See NCSHA’s budget chart for HUD and USDA housing program-level funding information.