Advocacy Corner, Issue 8 of 2021, June

From the Desk of Brian Fuss
Policy & Program Director

Hello, Friends. 

What an exciting month June has been and it is only the third week. As the PA General Assembly finishes up their work by the end of the month, we are asking our legislators to support our legislative agenda:  

  • funding $10 million in tax credits to the state housing tax credit program, 
  • creating a new emergency rental assistance program to meet the needs of communities in the Commonwealth that mirrors the federal legislation, 
  • amend PA Act 1 by removing the cap on administrative costs and housing stabilization services in ERAP 1, and 
  • supporting vital legislation to combat blight. 

Housing Alliance’s 2021-2022 Policy and Legislative Priorities  

During the first week in June, I went from Chester County to Westmoreland County to meet with staff members and representatives in their district offices along with several of our partners who joined me for our First Annual Housing Solutions Week. The meetings were to ensure legislators had the Housing Alliance’s policy and legislative priorities along with highlighting what our partners are doing. We visited eight counties and nine legislative offices.  

In addition to highlighting our policy priorities, I was able to learn about the wonderful things happening in the communities throughout the Commonwealth. Thank you to our entire network for your hard work.  

Specifically, I want to thank Friends Association, Chester County Dept. of Community Development, York Housing Authority, Tenfold, SPHS Connect, Butler County, Lancaster County Homelessness Coalition, Elizabethtown Community and Housing Outreach (ECHO), and Fayette County Community Action Agency Inc. for their time and efforts to meet with representatives. This will certainly be the first of many engagement activities that we will hold throughout the Commonwealth. 

In an effort to ensure all of our state representatives know and will advocate for our policy and legislative agenda, we extended Housing Solutions Week. During the second and third weeks of June, we went to Harrisburg to meet with Senators and Representatives. Our goal was two-fold; ensuring they understood the importance of our policy asks and to thank them for supporting our agenda.  

In the coming days and weeks, look out for communications highlighting our successes and ways you can help us push for more action by our representatives as needed.  

National Agenda 

Currently, we are working with our national partners to ensure the American Jobs Plan passes to include billions of dollars for housing infrastructure. In addition to the American Jobs Plan, President Biden unveiled his FY2022 budget with significant increases for the HUD budget. The President increased HUD’s budget by approximately 15% or $9 billion. There are suggested increases to almost every program. Now, the House and Senate will hold hearings and deliberations where the Republican and Democratic Caucuses will lay out their budget priorities.  

With the help of our national partners, we are continuing to ask for support from our PA Congressional Delegation in the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate to support the following two bills: 

It will certainly be a busy summer.