H.R. 1 Would Cut Rental Assistance Funding for Over 50,000 Low-Income Families, Slash Jobs and Community Services

 

Contact: John Bohm at (202) 289-3500 or jbohm@nahro.org

The House of Representatives will shortly vote to approve H.R. 1, a bill to fund the federal government through the remainder of fiscal year 2011.  HR 1 contains damaging cuts to affordable housing and community development programs across the nation.  It would also have a negative impact upon the fragile economic recovery which is now underway, and would hurt low- and moderate-income families struggling to keep their heads above water in these difficult times.  

The bill would:

  • cut the Public Housing Capital Fund by 43 percent from FY 2010 levels;
  • slash Community Development Block Grant formula funding by over 60 percent;
  • cut Public Housing Agencies’ (PHAs’) fees to administer the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher program by 24 percent below FY 2010 enacted level s;
  • and reduce the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Assistance Payments (HAP) to $16.703 billion.  

In particular NAHRO estimates that Section 8 cuts proposed in H.R. 1 would reduce FY 2011 funding for approximately 51,000 households currently using a voucherFurther, the 60% cut to the CDBG would result in devastating job loss as public improvement projects and community services are cut. Also, programs used by millions of elderly Americans, low-income children, and the disabled, including meals on wheels, housing rehabilitation, improvements to nursing homes, child care, after school enrichment programs, and services for abused and neglected children will be eliminated.

While NAHRO understands and respects the need to get our fiscal house in order, the dramatic cuts embedded in H.R. 1 will only hurt the nation’s disadvantaged families and seniors who currently reside in government-assisted housing, and will cripple our ongoing ability as a nation to assist those in need of a decent, safe and affordable place to call home.  We continue to urge members of the House to take these concerns into account prior to the vote on final passage of H.R. 1 later today. We implore members of the Senate in their deliberations on the FY 2011 federal budget to chart a different course: one that enables the nation to sustain its irreplaceable inventory of affordable housing in a responsible manner; one that enables the nation to continue to address the unmet housing needs of those without shelter, and one that enables housing and redevelopment authorities to continue to support and enhance safe and affordable communities of quality.

As the debate continues over the FY 2011 Continuing Resolution, we begin the no less important conversation concerning federal funding for housing and community development (HCD) programs in FY 2012.  NAHRO today releases its own funding recommendations to support HCD programs for the next fiscal year:http://www.nahro.org/nahrofy2012 . We believe that the ability to effectively meet documented local HCD needs in the year ahead will depend upon final approval of a rational FY 2011 spending package as well as the adoption of a realistic FY 2012 HCD budget.  Decision-making on these critical pieces of legislation this year will determine the basis and the extent to which we are able to effectively address the more than 20% increase in worst case housing needs announced this month.