Right now, Congress is negotiating important funding legislation that would fund the federal government for Fiscal Year 2023. State and local governments and the communities they serve rely on federal resources to meet the housing, homelessness, and community development needs of their communities. However, Congress has underfunded these resources for decades, so it is critical that our elected leaders hear loudly and clearly that now is an important time to expand, not cut, these vital programs.
Even before the pandemic, the country was facing a devastating housing crisis. Housing costs are rising faster than wages and our nation’s affordable housing stock is deteriorating. Neither the supply of affordable and accessible housing nor rental assistance have kept pace with the demand. As a result, there is a shortage of affordable rental homes in every community around the country. Because of underfunding, only 1 in 4 households eligible for federal rental assistance actually receives it.
Federal investments are critical to creating more equitable communities and enabling families to thrive. Since rents and other market rates generally rise each year, appropriations for housing and community development need to increase in order to maintain the current number of assisted households and provide funding for private owners and public housing agencies to make vital repairs. Flat funding for housing and community development programs would act as a cut and reduce the number of people served.
Your voice matters. Urge your Members of Congress to include housing investments in the Fiscal Year 2023 federal funding legislation, which will allocate funding for affordable housing, homelessness, and community development programs, including an expansion of rental assistance.
CONTACT YOUR 2 SENATORS AND 1 REPRESENTATIVE TODAY
On the right-hand side, click “Send Email” or “Call Me” to contact your 2 Senators and 1 Representative.
Be sure to insert personalized information in the sample script brackets.
Sample Script: “I’m your constituent from [city, state], and [as a person of faith/refugee/community member], I urge you to ensure affordable housing, homelessness, and community development programs receive the highest allocation of discretionary funding possible in Fiscal Year 2023. Housing costs continue to rise faster than wages, our nation’s affordable housing stock is deteriorating, supply has not kept up with demand, and key federal resources to address these issues have been underfunded for decades. As a result, there is a shortage of affordable rental homes in every community around the country, including in the communities you represent, and only 1 in 4 households eligible for federal rental assistance actually receives it.
Additional federal resources — especially for housing vouchers, public housing, Homeless Assistance Grants, tribal housing, and eviction prevention as outlined above — are desperately needed to meet the needs of our lowest-income neighbors and to allow communities to thrive. I ask that you work with your colleagues to pass a FY23 spending bill that funds these and other HUD and USDA Rural Development affordable housing, homelessness, and community development programs at the highest levels possible.
I urge you to support these five priorities in Fiscal Year 2023:
- $32 billion to renew all existing housing vouchers and expand assistance to 200,000 additional households;
- $3.6 billion to address homelessness through homeless assistance grants;
- Robust funding to preserve and operate public housing;
- $100 million to prevent evictions through legal assistance;
- $300 million for competitive tribal housing funds targeted to tribes with the greatest needs.
Thank you for taking action, and please share this alert with your networks!