On August 9th, Senator Schumer released spending level proposals for the $3.5 Trillion budget reconciliation bill, allocating $332 billion to the Housing and Financial Services committee to address housing needs, including the HoUSed campaign priorities. The committee, chaired by Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio, will decide individual spending levels. We expect to see $45 billion in the National Housing Trust Fund and substantial increases in rental assistance included. Chair Brown has been working with Chair Waters to align their housing priorities.Continue Reading
On May 20, 2020, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) issued a final rule to change the regulations implementing the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA), notably without support from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) or Federal Reserve.Continue Reading
House Speaker Pelosi announced a $3 trillion stimulus bill, HEROES Act on May 15th. This comprehensive package embraces all of our top priorities, including:Continue Reading
As you probably know, all low-income individuals are eligible for a $1,200 stimulus check ($2,400 for joint returns, $500 for each qualifying child) known as Economic Impact Payments.
Any low-income individual who has filed a tax return in the past two years and cannot be claimed as a dependent will receive the monies automatically.Continue Reading
The House and Senate have agreed on across-the-board funding increases for the HUD programs that are key to supportive housing. It is expected that the President will sign the bill, avoiding a government shutdown. This represents an incremental increase keeping the programs whole, not a major new investment.Continue Reading
On July 8, 2019, on behalf of New York’s supportive housing community, the Network submitted comment to the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) expressing strong opposition to the changes regarding “verification of eligible status,” published in the Federal Register on May 10, 2019. The Network’s letter outlined with specifics how the proposed rule “would only exacerbate the homelessness crisis plaguing the nation.”
A high-level view of its content is below.Continue Reading
The Network team joined the National Alliance to End Homelessness (NAEH) Hill Day in Washington D.C. for the 18th consecutive year on July 23rd. They met with legislators to advocate for improved funding and policies that could alleviate homelessness in the state of New York.
The group had 28 meetings with elected officials and their staff to advocate for sufficient funding for HUD programs integral to the solution to homelessness, including 1) $2.8 billion for McKinney Vento Homeless Assistance grants, 2) $23.1 billion for existing Housing Choice Vouchers and additional vouchers for veterans and people with disabilities, and 3) $678 million for senior housing (HUD 202).
They also advocated for policies that would encourage the development and sustainability of supportive housing units, such as legislation to improve Low Income Housing Tax Credits, protection of the National Housing Trust Fund and the reauthorization of the US Interagency Council on Homelessness.
Most notably, the Network staff met directly Representatives Donovan, Faso, Katko, Tonko, Velazquez and Zeldin. The response from all the elected officials was overwhelmingly positive and they all acknowledged the dire need to curb homelessness.
Congressman Lee Zeldin wrote about the meeting on his official Facebook page.
“Last week, I met with New Yorkers from The Supportive Housing Network of New York to discuss ways to assist Americans in need trying hard to pull themselves out of dire financial situations. This Congress, I introduced legislation to make permanent the Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) program that provides financial assistance for supportive services for very low-income veteran families in permanent housing, because even just one homeless veteran is too many,” he wrote in response to the meeting.
The lobby day followed a three-day conference organized by NAEH that brought together nonprofits around the country to meet and share ideas and solutions to ending the homelessness crisis.
Laura Mascuch, the Network's Executive Director co-authored with CEO of Breaking Ground, Brenda Rosen, an op-ed on the impact of HUD's new rent increase proposal.
The White House released its FY 2019 budget on Monday February 12, 2018. It largely repeats last year’s attempt by the executive branch to gut federal spending; a budget that was considered dead on arrival. This proposed budget ignores the increased spending limits for FY 2018 and 2019, signed by the president earlier this year. Worse, it would shift major costs to the states and to people in poverty, especially the working poor.
Below is a chart that shows how the FY 2019 executive budget compares to the enacted 2017 budget, as well as the Network’s recommendations for FY 2018 funding levels.
Note that the executive budget would eliminate both the HOME and CDBG programs, cutting $4 billion in block grant funding to states and localities, a $400 million loss in New York State.
The House and Senate continue to work on an omnibus budget bill for FY 2018, with a March 23rd deadline. We will report on the details if and when they become available. Meanwhile the FY 2019 budget process is moving forward. Please join the Network in calling on your member of Congress and ask them to sign on to three 'Dear Colleague' letters:
Rep Gwen Moore has sponsored a 'Dear Colleague' letter to fund the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Grant at $2.8 billion. The deadline is March 16th. House Members my sign on here: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rep. Marcia Fudge is sponsoring a 'Dear Colleague' letter to fund the HOME Program at $1.2 billion in FY 2019. The deadline for Representatives to sign on is COB Tuesday, March 13. House offices can sign on using this link.
Rep. Jerrold Nadler is sponsoring a 'Dear Colleague' letter urging the THUD Subcommittee to support Section 8 funding at $22.8 billion. The deadline to sign is March 15th. Members can sign on by contacting: email@example.com.
You can call the congressional switchboard at (202) 224-3121 and ask to be connected to your member of congress.
Thank you for your advocacy and support!
Tax reform has now been passed by Congress and signed into law by the president. The Network has been focused primarily on the restoration of tax-exempt, private activity housing bonds (PABs), which were eliminated in the original House proposal. While the final bill will present challenges for supportive housing and its residents, we are happy to say that PABs were restored in the final version of the bill. This is important as PABs play a vital role in affordable housing development in conjunction with 4% as-of-right Low Income Housing Tax Credits (Housing Credits). This capital funding source has become increasingly important to supportive housing development over the past decade, and will be even more crucial to meet New York State’s supportive housing production goal of 1,200 units per year and New York City’s supportive housing production goal of 500 units per year.
For the past two months the Network has been active in gaining commitments from the majority party members to protect PABs and six of nine weighed in to support our cause: Reps. Donovan, Faso, Katko, King, Stefanik, and Zeldin. We thank them for their support.
The 9% Housing Credit is preserved and no additional amendments were added in the final bill. The 130% basis boost remains the same. However, by lowering the corporate tax rate from 35% to 21%, the bill is anticipated to have a negative effect on the value of the Housing Credit – decreasing it by approximately 14% – and projects will require additional capital funding to be made whole. Actions to ameliorate this impact were not included in the final bill, but the Network will be focusing on legislation to address the issue moving forward.
Finally, both Historic Tax Credits and New Markets Tax Credits were retained.
With tax reform behind us, we will focus our advocacy efforts on the budget, fighting to ensure that critical programs to provide affordable housing and end homelessness are not sacrificed. We anticipate that tax reform’s $1.4 trillion in budget shortfalls will trigger automatic spending cuts equal to $146 billion each year for ten years. If automatic cuts do in fact go into effect, there would be reductions across a range of programs including the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) according to the Times.
Here is the full conference bill: http://docs.house.gov/billsthisweek/20171218/CRPT-115HRPT-466.pdf