Recently, the President submitted to Congress his fiscal year (FY) 2017 budget request–the final budget request of his presidency.
Overall, the budget request provides a $2.1 billion increase in funding for affordable housing and community development programs. The budget proposes additional resources for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to expand the number of Housing Choice Vouchers for homeless families with children, to increase funding for Homeless Assistance Grants, as well as to help revitalize distressed communities throughout the country. Moreover, the budget fully funds the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) rural rental housing assistance program.
The budget request contains a number of proposals related to tax policy and other federal agencies that directly impact housing and economic opportunities for low-income families. For more details, see Enterprise’s comprehensive overview of the President’s FY 2017 budget and our updated FY 2017 budget chart. For a version of this Action Alert that you can share on social media, see Enterprise’s blog post.
Now that the President’s budget has been released, it is time for affordable housing and community development organizations to take action.
Here are 3 things you can do TODAY to help protect affordable housing and community development programs:
1. Sign the national letter urging Congress to make funding for affordable housing and community development a top priority. Enterprise and other leaders of the Campaign for Housing and Community Development Funding launched this letter to bring together housing, community development, and transportation organizations to ensure that the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (THUD) Appropriations Subcommittee gets the highest allocation possible. With this investment, communities across the nation can access the federal resources they need to thrive and meet the needs of their most vulnerable residents. The deadline to sign on is February 19.
2. Sign the national letter to protect and fully fund Section 4 in FY 2017. Section 4 strengthens communities across the nation by providing critical support to local nonprofit organizations that develop affordable housing, finance small businesses, revitalize commercial corridors, and help address local healthcare, childcare, education and safety needs. Despite this successful track record, the Obama Administration proposes to essentially eliminate Section 4 in his FY 2017 budget request. In response, Enterprise, LISC, and Habitat for Humanity are leading an effort to fully fund Section 4 at no less than $35 million in FY 2017. The deadline for organizations to sign on is February 18.
3. Sign the national HOME letter to restore funding to at least $1.2 billion in FY 2017. For over 20 years, HOME has proven to be one of the most effective, locally driven tools to help states and communities address their most pressing housing needs. In recent years, HOME funding has been cut in half, making it more difficult for low-income seniors, people with disabilities, veterans, families with children, and homeless populations to access the housing they need. That’s why Enterprise and other members of the HOME Coalition are urging Congress to restore HOME funding to at least $1.2 billion.The deadline for organizations to sign on is March 1. For more information, see Enterprise’s recent blog post and their #SaveHOME campaign site.
If you have any questions about the President’s budget request–or how you can help protect funding for affordable housing programs–please contact Diane Yentel (email@example.com) or Sarah Mickelson (firstname.lastname@example.org).