Planning a trip to Washington, D.C.? Swing by the Capitol to meet with your Senators and Representatives!
Twice per year, NAHMA members from across the country visit with their DC-based legislators to discuss the importance of affordable housing.
This season, make sure your voice gets heard on affordable housing issues in your area.
Although it’s best to come prepared with a message, Hill Visits are relatively relaxed. They last from 15-30 minutes and are a great way to put housing issues on the congressional radar.
Hill Visit Scheduling Checklist
NAHMA is here to help! Utilize the following checklist for what to expect from NAHMA when scheduling advocacy meetings in Congress.
WHEN SCHEDULING YOUR DC TRAVEL (OR ONE MONTH BEFORE TRAVEL)
- When booking your DC travel, plan in a 30-40 minute window per meeting (5-10 minutes to get through security at the congressional office building and 15-30 minutes per meeting), plus 30 minutes for travel to and from the Capitol
- 3-4 weeks prior to your arrival, begin reaching out to congressional office to schedule a meeting, and reach out to NAHMA for help with talking points and other meeting prep
- If you need help with scheduling, submit a Hill Visit Scheduling Request to NAHMA, or email NAHMA’s Government Affairs staff with the following information:
- Who will be attending the meetings (you and any colleagues)
- Which congressional offices you would like to meet with
- If you are not sure which offices to meet with, include information about the geographic areas and federal housing programs you operate in
- Days and times you are available to be at the Capitol
- You will receive a confirmation from us once we begin the scheduling process. Please note that NAHMA does NOT guarantee that meetings will be able to be scheduled on your behalf, but will attempt to fulfill your advocacy assistance requests to the best of our ability.
THE WEEK BEFORE YOUR MEETING
- Once your meetings have been scheduled, you will receive a confirmation email from NAHMA if we helped you line up your meetings
- We can also provide talking points and other “handout” materials for your meetings
- Keep your eye out for one of NAHMA’s “workshop” calls that discuss best practices for successful Hill Visits
- If this is your first time at the Capitol or if you would like ongoing support, NAHMA can attend meetings with you
- NAHMA recommends preparing your message for the office staff in advance based on NAHMA talking points, AHMA materials, your organization’s needs, and the congressional committee assignments of the legislator
WITHIN ONE WEEK AFTER YOUR MEETING
Advocacy Resources for Congressional Meetings
Find fact sheets, policy information, and handouts to bring to your congressional meetings.
- Sample Meeting Talking Points – March 2019 – A sample outline of a meeting with congressional staff, including key policy items
- Sample Follow-Up Email – Spring 2019 – A sample email to send to congressional staff following your meeting
- NAHMA Legislative Platform – 2019 – NAHMA’s key policy issues for 2019
- National Fiscal Year 2020 Rental Assistance Funding – Fact Sheet for lawmakers explaining the impacts of Rental Assistance programs nationwide, as well as NAHMA’s FY20 funding requests for housing programs
- Regional Fiscal Year 2020 Rental Assistance Funding – Regional Fact Sheets (coming soon)
- NAHMAnalysis on Appropriations for FY18 – A breakdown of appropriated funding for HUD, USDA, and other housing programs for Fiscal Year 2018 (updates coming soon)
- National LIHTC Factsheet – An advocacy sheet from the ACTION campaign providing information on the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit and how Congress can support this essential program; more information, including state and district fact sheets, is available here
- NAHMA Maps – Affordable housing statistical information for Congressional Representatives
- Share Your Advocacy Story – A brief form that let’s us know how your congressional visit went
Hill Visit Basics
Learn best practices for successful Hill Visits, terms used in the legislative process, and how to get around the Capitol.
- Who to Contact in Congress – A NAHMAnalysis on Senate and House committee leadership for the 115th Congress (updates coming soon)
- Best practices for visiting Congress – Do’s and Don’ts for effective advocacy on Capitol Hill
- FAQs on Grassroots Advocacy – General information on Congressional grassroots advocacy
- Hill Visit Basics – Where to go, how much time to plan in, and what to wear
- Site Map of U.S. Congress – A handy map displaying the location of House and Senate Office Buildings
- Legislative Terminology – The basic terms used in the legislative process. (Definitions copied from Senate Glossary)
- How a Bill Becomes Public Law – Congressional Research Service Report by Valerie Heitshusen (November 2012)