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16Mar

Congress Decides What Happens with the Budget

Posted March 16, 2017

 YOUR ACTION IS CRITICAL

In the past few weeks and months, we have seen more of you engage in conversations and meetings with your federal Members of Congress than ever before. It is extremely important that we continue to engage with our Senators and Representatives to advocate for resources for housing and community development programs.

Early this morning, the Trump Administration released the President’s budget proposal. It is only a guideline. Congress can choose to ignore the budget proposal completely.

Unfortunately the rumors from the past few weeks are true. The President’s budget proposal devastates the federal programs on which we rely in order to provide safe, decent, and affordable homes to Pennsylvanians for whom that small amount of assistance really matters. We know it matters to their health, to keep the elderly and people with disabilities in their homes and out of costly nursing homes, and to prevent families with young children from entering a homeless shelter.

Please take 10 minutes at some point today to call your Senators and Representatives. See below to take action and for more information on what is included in the budget proposal.

The budget process is *far* from over. The Housing Alliance has been working with you in the last few months, weeks, and even days to give voice to the success of providing safe, decent, and affordable homes to children, the elderly, veterans, and people with disabilities because of the availability of these critical federal programs. We won’t stop now. Please don’t either.

Act Now

Here’s a brief synopsis the President’s budget proposal:

  1. Decreases overall HUD funding by more than $6 billion or 13% (from $46.9 billion in the fiscal year 2017 proposal to this year’s proposal of $40.7 billion for fiscal year 2018)
  2. Eliminates completely the Community Development Block Grant program, HOME Investment Partnerships, the Choice Neighborhoods program, and the Self-help Homeownership Opportunity Program.
  3. Provides over $35 billion for HUD’s Public Housing, Section 8 Vouchers, and other rental assistance programs and proposes reforms that the proposal claims will “continue to assist 4.5 million low-income households.”
  4. Eliminates funding for 19 federal agencies, including the Appalachian Regional Commission, Corporation for National and Community Service (Americorps), Legal Services Corporation, Neighborhood Reinvestment Corporation, and the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness.
  5. States that “state and local governments are better positioned to serve their communities based on local needs and priorities.” Our response is that these federal programs allow state and local governments to determine how to best utilize resources. It cannot be done without the continued participation of the federal government.

As the budget proposal was just released this morning, there is only preliminary analysis available. We thank our national partners, including the National Low Income Housing Coalition, for providing us with immediate preliminary information.

Best,

Phyllis Chamberlain

Executive Director

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