WASHINGTON – With federal funding due to run out and sequestration scheduled to go back into effect in just three weeks, the National Housing Conference has joined with more than 2,500 national, state and local organizations on Raise the Caps Day to call on Congress to avoid the impending fiscal crisis and end sequestration. This NDD United coalition represents organizations spanning interests from housing and education to public health and infrastructure that have signed a letter asking Congress to raise the spending caps and reach a bipartisan budget deal before Oct. 1, 2015. A deal would prevent drastic cuts to programs for affordable housing.
“Communities across America have brought an end to veteran homelessness using federal dollars, which shows us that a national investment in homes for people who need them can work,” said Chris Estes, president and CEO of NHC. “But we must have the funding to meet the growing crisis in the lack of affordable rental housing. Only a bipartisan compromise on spending will allow for the essential long-term investments in affordable housing that we need.”
In 2013, Congress approved a bipartisan budget deal that relieved the impacts of sequestration for 2014 and 2015. That sequestration relief expires October 1, and appropriations bills have been written to the sequestered spending caps. These caps prevent affordable housing programs from fully serving existing households and from continuing progress towards addressing the growing housing affordability crisis. Overall, current non-defense discretionary funding is at the lowest level on record dating back to the Eisenhower administration, relative to the size of the economy.
The Budget Control Act’s spending caps require funding restrictions that make it impossible to fund HUD rental assistance programs without deep cuts to other vital and proven housing programs, like housing choice vouchers, public housing and HOME. With a budget agreement and a return to real investment in housing programs, Congress has the opportunity to effectively address the housing affordability challenges faced by a growing number of Americans, like the 9.6 million working households paying more than half of their income for housing costs. Without a budget agreement, vulnerable populations will continue to suffer and housing programs will fall drastically short of need.
About the National Housing Conference:
The National Housing Conference represents a diverse membership of housing stakeholders including tenant advocates, mortgage bankers, nonprofit and for-profit home builders, property managers, policy practitioners, Realtors®, equity investors, and more, all of whom share a commitment to safe, decent and affordable housing for all in America. We are the nation’s oldest housing advocacy organization, dedicated to the affordable housing mission since our founding in 1931. We are a nonpartisan, 501(c)3 nonprofit that brings together our broad-based membership to advocate on housing issues. Learn more at www.nhc.org.
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