Housing and Community Development Advocates Ask Senate Leadership to Reject Deep Cuts to Communities

For Immediate Release

Contact: 

Melissa Quirk, 202.662.1530 x230, melissa@nlihc.org

Housing and Community Development Advocates Ask Senate Leadership to Reject Deep Cuts to Communities

WASHINGTON - In the wake of in the House of Representatives’ passage last week of H.R. 1, the Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Act of 2011, housing and community development advocates continue their push for funding for communities with a letter to Senate leadership.

Members of the Campaign for Housing and Community Development Funding (CHCDF), a coalition of 72 national affordable housing and community development groups, wrote to Senate leadership today asking leaders to reject the severe cuts offered in H.R. 1 and ensure continued funding to vital HUD programs. According to the letter, copied in full below, “the House bill would make deep and, in some cases, total cuts to affordable housing and community development assistance programs despite the growing hardship experienced by low income families.”

According to CHCDF spokesperson John Bohm, “If members of the Senate approve either H.R. 1 or an alternative spending bill for the remainder of FY11 that decreases necessary funding for affordable housing and community development programs, CHCDF signatories to this letter know that it will have a decidedly negative impact upon the fragile economic recovery now underway and that it will hurt low and moderate income families in need of decent safe and affordable housing who are struggling to keep their heads above water in these difficult economic times.”

Advocates note that just this month, a HUD report found that the number of households with worst case housing needs- either severely substandard or severely unaffordable housing- increased 20 percent between 2007 and 2009. CHCDF members argue that housing and community development funding prevents people from losing their homes, stabilizes communities, and promotes economic mobility and job creation.

The House will begin debate tomorrow on a Continuing Resolution, a time limited version of the cuts offered in H.R. 1, which would keep the government funded for another two weeks at lower levels. The Senate is crafting its own full year Continuing Resolution in the coming weeks.

A copy of the letter to Senate leadership can be found at http://nlihc.org/doc/CHCDF_Letter_Senate_HR1_2_28_11.pdf

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On February 19, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 1, the Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Act of 2011.  The House is now also proposing HUD cuts in a short term Continuing Resolution (CR) that is expected to be voted on this week. The House bill would make deep and, in some cases, total cuts to affordable housing and community development assistance programs despite the growing hardship experienced by low income families.  These cuts would severely impact millions of people served by programs that prevent people from losing their homes, stabilize communities, and promote economic mobility and job creation. These are exactly the investments that must be made in light of the economic uncertainty our nation still faces because they stabilize families and create jobs.The cuts would undermine the very economic recovery that the country so desperately needs.

We recognize that the nation must reduce its deficit, but slashing critical domestic discretionary programs that serve vulnerable families will not solve our long-term fiscal problems.  H.R. 1would harm the most vulnerable households at a time when they can least afford it. In fact, on February 1 of this year, HUD released its Worst Case Housing Needs Report to Congress and revealed that the number of households with worse case housing needs increased by 20 percent from 2007 to 2009. 

Therefore, the undersigned members of the Campaign for Housing and Community Development Funding (CHCDF), a group of 72 national organizations representing all 50 states and territories, call on you to reject the severe cuts in H.R. 1 and in the House proposed Continuing Resolution to prevent the loss of vital HUD programs.  Specifically, we ask you to prevent cuts to the following HUD programs that H.R. 1 and the House CR would eliminate or reduce below the levels of the Senate Appropriations Committee bill or the President’s FY11 request:
 

§  Project Based Rental Assistance

§  Tenant Based Rental Assistance

§  Public Housing Operating Fund

§  Public Housing Capital Fund

§  Transforming Rental Assistance

§  HOPE VI/Choice Neighborhoods

§  Native American Housing Block Grants

§  Native Hawaiian Housing Block Grants

§  Community Development Fund

§  HOME Investment Partnerships Program

§  Housing Counseling Assistance

§  Homeless Assistance Grants

§  Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS

§  Energy Innovation Fund

§  Brownfields Redevelopment

§  Healthy Homes and Lead Hazard Control

§  Section 202 Housing for the Elderly

§  Section 811 Housing for People with Disabilities

Members of CHCDF stand ready to work with you to find responsible ways to continue to address our nation's housing and community development needs.

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The National Low Income Housing Coalition is dedicated solely to ending America’s affordable housing crisis. Established in 1974 by Cushing N. Dolbeare, NLIHC educates, organizes and advocates to ensure decent, affordable housing within healthy neighborhoods for everyone. NLIHC provides up-to-date information, formulates policy and educates the public on housing needs and the strategies for solutions.

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