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August 26, 2021 | 1,072 total views

With the absence of housing in the current federal infrastructure package, Congress is proposing bold investments into our nation’s housing infrastructure through a budget reconciliation bill. The budget reconciliation process requires only a simple majority to pass and significantly speeds up the approval process in Congress.

The first step to getting a budget reconciliation bill approved is to pass budget resolutions in both the House of Representatives and the Senate. Earlier this month, both passed a proposed budget resolution, calling for over $330 billion in housing and transportation investments.

Now that the budget resolution has been approved, committees in the House and the Senate are in the process of drafting legislation to divvy the funding allocation amongst various programs. This is where your advocacy is needed.

We ask you to call your members of Congress and urge them to include the following investments for housing and homelessness in the budget reconciliation bill:

  • $180 billion to expand rental assistance with a phase-in period of 10 years. This significant investment could help serve an additional 2.65 million households who are struggling to afford rent and, if targeted, could end housing insecurity for households with an income below 15% of area median income (AMI) and for households receiving Supplemental Security Income with incomes below 30% AMI.
  • $45 billion to expand the National Housing Trust Fund (HTF). The HTF use its funds principally for the building, rehabilitation, preservation, and operation of rental housing for those at the lowest incomes. It is the only program which focuses on capital construction for people that are extremely low-income – most other existing capital funding programs focus on those experiencing homelessness or chronic homelessness and those that are at 60% AMI, leaving a gap for those at the greatest risk of homelessness.
  • At least $70 billion for the public capital repair backlog. Public housing is essential to providing housing options for people with the greatest needs, but Congress has divested from public housing for decades. This has resulted in a loss of 10,000 to 15,000 units of public housing every year due to disrepair and decay.

These robust and bold investments will help address upstream and downstream homelessness, improve racial equity, and create good-paying jobs. They will also allow homeless service providers across Los Angeles County to focus limited resources on the most vulnerable and marginalized individuals and create a more sustainable and effective homeless services system.

To find your Congressional representative and their contact information, please visit LAHSA's Legislative Affairs Resources webpage.

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