the advocacy monitor

Independent Living News & Policy from the National Council on Independent Living

Action Alert: Your Advocacy Needed to Protect Housing

The US House of Representatives has begun consideration of the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies (THUD) appropriations bill, H.R. 2577. After the weekend (Friday-Monday), they will resume discussions with amendments expected to be offered.

equal housing opportunity symbolUnfortunately, language has already been included that will redirect the monies designated for the National Housing Trust Fund into the HOME Program, and the bill also forbids the funding of the Trust Fund by other means. An amendment to remove this language was deemed out of order.

The National Low Income Housing Coalition stated that they expect at least three amendments to be offered that should be opposed. NCIL’s reasons for opposing each amendment are offered below.

An amendment by Representative Steve Stivers (R-OH) to prohibit any Fair Housing Initiative Program funds to be used for the Private Enforcement Initiative (PEI)

PEI grants support local, private fair housing groups’ testing, complaint intake, and investigation efforts. PEI grantees are critical to enforcement efforts for the Fair Housing Act.

  • Disability-related complaints is the largest category of Fair Housing complaints. To remove funding for the PEI program would damage Fair Housing enforcement in many communities. This harms people with disabilities when fair housing enforcement is not readily available in communities.

An amendment by Representative Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) to cut every program funded by H.R. 2577 by an additional 1%

  • The THUD bill already contains many damaging cuts to housing programs, and does not make up for the loss of funding that was enacted after the Budget Control Act of 2013.

An amendment by Representative Paul Gosar (R-AZ) to prohibit HUD from using any funds to implement, enforce, or administer the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) final rule, or the AFFH Assessment Tool

  • After decades, HUD has finally begun to develop and finalize rules by which communities should ensure that their actions are not discriminatory against protected classes under the Fair Housing Act. All agencies funded through HUD have an obligation to proactively pursue integration, and the AFFH final rule and tool will clearly outline what the expectations are of communities to meet that integration mandate. This amendment is an attack on integration.

Please call your Representative immediately and urge opposition to these harmful amendments. To find contact information for your Representative, call the Congressional Switchboard at 877-210-5351 or visit www.house.gov.

You should:

  • State your opposition to H.R. 2577
  • State that you oppose the amendments offered by Reps. Stivers, Blackburn, and Gosar.

Speak Your Mind

*