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

An Update from the NCIL Housing Subcommittee

By Brian Peters & Darrel Christenson, Co-Chairs

Quite a few things have been happening on the housing front in the New Year. On the positive side, Congress passed an $89.3 billion disaster relief package that will provide funding to areas impacted by Hurricane Maria, with money set aside for rebuilding the electrical grids in Puerto Rico and US Virgin Islands. Congress also passed a budget deal that lifted the Budget Control Act cap, enabling many programs to avoid cuts.

equal housing opportunity symbolHowever, on the negative side, Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Carson delayed the implementation of Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing until 2025, effectively delaying efforts to combat segregation. President Trump’s FY 2019 budget proposes dramatic cuts of $8.8 billion (18.3% cut compared to 2017 levels) to housing programs!

With the two-year budget deal, “Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018”, the Appropriations Committee will need to complete the FY 2018 funding bill before their deadline of March 23. Advocates should call Congress to insist on increased funding for housing.

President Trump also proposed getting rid of the National Housing Trust Fund, which is targeted mostly at extremely low-income households that rent. Many households with a person with a disability are considered extremely low income. There is also a push in Congress to reform housing finance (Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac) which funds the National Housing Trust Fund. It is very possible that the Fund could lose its source of revenue. 

The National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) is leading the National Housing Trust Fund Campaign to ensure that the Housing Trust Fund continues to receive funding in the future.

Please have your Center for Independent Living (CIL) sign the letter supporting the Housing Trust Fund Campaign. Although the letter has been submitted to the Senate Banking Committee, they still are accepting additional organizations as signatories. They intend to use the letter again for the Housing Financial Services Committee and throughout the year.

The creation and the funding of the National Housing Trust Fund has been a NCIL priority for many years, and we are pleased to support NLIHC’s efforts on this issue.

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