Network Kicks Federal Advocacy into High Gear During March
- 60 congressional meetings on Capitol Hill with legislators from both parties conducted by 19 resident ambassadors, Network employees and board members.
- 120 letters submitted to congressional representatives by 96 practitioners and allies.
- Garner bipartisan support for permanently affordable housing solutions and community land trusts;
- Request more funding, access to federal programs, and access to mortgage financing.
- Provide sufficient Transportation & Housing and Urban Development appropriations to fulfill the President’s FY16 budget request for the HOME program and maintain CDBG funding at current levels. The President’s proposed FY16 budget included an increase in HOME funding, but also a $200 million cut to CDBG. The need for HOME and CDBG funding were addressed during congressional meetings and the letter-writing campaign. Since that time, the House and Senate have both passed budget resolutions with insubstantial increases to non-discretionary spending.
- Urge HUD to address barriers for community land trusts to utilize the HOME program. The HOME program explicitly includes “community land trusts” (CLTs) in its definition of “homeownership,” but HUD has not amended other rules so that CLTs can use HOME funds (see letter submitted to HUD on February 15, 2015). The Network has been asking HUD to address these issues for over a year, so members of Congress on appropriate committees were asked to encourage progress.
- Support the incorporation of permanently affordable homeownership into a forthcoming rule on duty to serve underserved markets for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The Federal Housing Finance Agency is expected to release a proposed rule implementing provisions of the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 that establishes a duty to serve low- and moderate-income families in manufactured housing, affordable housing preservation, and rural markets for the Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs). By incorporating shared equity homeownership into the proposed rule for the GSEs to receive credit for “affordable housing preservation,” the GSEs could greatly improve access to mortgage financing for buyers of shared equity homes. Members of Congress on relevant committees were made aware of the rule and asked to support our future public comments.
We will continue to advocate for Congress to take action on these requests and others that support the Network’s 2015 Policy Agenda, but we need your help. Take action through the Network’s advocacy website and meet with your Congressional representatives to forge relationships.