Urge Congress to Pass Omnibus and Fund Affordable Housing Programs for FY2016
NAHMA is requesting your participation in a crucial effort to pass a funding bill for the rest of fiscal year 2016. Currently, Congress is negotiating final funding bills for affordable housing programs. The current funding period, authorized under a Continuing Resolution (CR), ends on December 11. There remains little time, approximately one week, for Congress to finalize legislation to fund all federal programs.
How to get Involved
Reaching out to the offices of congressional members is easy, and their staff are willing to receive your comments and requests. Fundamentally, we recommend sending an email to your congressman that identifies yourself, your company and its role/impact in the congressional district or state(s); and includes the details provided in the talking points listed below. Most importantly, you should include real-life examples on how your properties might be negatively impacted if Congress does not take the steps recommended below.
For additional background information, NAHMA’s Grassroots Action Center features a full toolkit for members to use including webinars on advocacy strategies, FAQs on Congress as well as numerous documents to help you understand the program and funding considerations for fiscal year 2016. Additionally, NAHMA Maps can help you identify your elected official and their contact information.
Suggested Talking Points for your Grassroots Advocacy:
Fully Fund All HUD Affordable Housing Programs –
- Fund 12-month Project-Based Rental Assistance renewals at $10.826 billion.
- Fund Section 811 Housing for Persons with Disabilities at $177 million.
- Fund Section 202 Housing for the Elderly at $455 million.
- Fund the renewal of Housing Choice Vouchers at $18.05 billion, and provide $470 million for new vouchers for targeted populations.
- Fund HOME at $1.016 billion
- Oppose any amendments to alter funding for the National Housing Trust Fund.
Provide Additional Funding and Important Language Changes for Section 521, Rural Rental Assistance(RA)
- In your outreach to Congress, it is critical that you press support for an additional $221 million in funding above the Administration’s request of $1.172 billion, to renew all rental assistance contracts for FY2016.
- NAHMA also recommends that you urge Congress to address the unresolved funding issues recently experienced by owners and residents, by providing RD authority to fully back-fund properties that were denied funding in FY 2015 because of lack of contract renewal funds and removing the “no re-renewal” provision for the program in FY 2016. This provision was a request of the Administration and authorized for FY 2015. This language, together with insufficient funding for the program, caused unwarranted problems not only for the owners as they attempted to keep the financial integrity of the properties, but also for the residents who rely on RA to live in affordable housing across the country.
For assistance in contacting a member or for additional information on this Grassroots Action alert, please contact myself or NAHMA’s Director of Government Affairs, Larry Keys (firstname.lastname@example.org)
For information on contacting your Congressional Representatives please visit:
- Senators: http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm
- U.S. House of Representatives: http://www.house.gov/writerep/
Please note that participating in a NAHMA request for communication with your Congressional representatives will not cause you to be considered a Lobbyist under federal guidelines. The definition for Lobbyist under federal guidelines is as follows, and all three conditions must be met:
Lobbyist: Any individual (1) who is either employed or retained by a client for financial or other compensation (2) whose services include more than one lobbying contact; and (3) whose “lobbying activities” constitute 20 percent or more of his or her services on behalf of that client during any three month period.
To learn more about federal guidelines in lobbying and the role of the AHMAs in the advocacy process, please read this report:
NAHMA Grassroots Advocacy: AHMA 501(c)3 Organizations and Their Role in Advocacy