On April 14, the House and Senate will vote on and send H.R. 1437 to the President. This bill represents the final agreement on FY 2011 spending. Most experts and vote counters expect it to pass. This bill contains a number of significant and problematic cuts to housing and community development (HCD) accounts -- including but not limited to the CDBG program, the public housing capital fund and Section 8 administrative fees. NAHRO has raised serious concerns regarding cuts to domestic discretionary accounts and, more specifically, cuts to HUD programs important to our membership.
Though the bill is almost certain to pass, we ask you, despite what appears to be an almost certain vote on final passage, to make one final push to let members of Congress know how the proposed cuts to HCD programs will be felt in your states and localities. This effort is important ground work on our campaign for responsible policies and funding for 2012. To help you in your messaging, see below for resources including talking points on NAHRO's message to the Hill. Please add your own local examples and comments to supplement the message.
Remember, calling and or e-mailing House and Senate members is the best and most timely means of communication. If you cannot get through, we suggest you call the local district offices of your representatives and senators. If possible, speak to the staffers who handle housing issues. Contact information for members of the House and Senate can be found here and here, respectively.
As we move into a two-week Congressional recess next week, we will continue to strongly oppose further HCD cuts. We also expect a larger and possibly more damaging fight over the FY 2012 budget. This will require our best efforts to educate and inform decision-makers about the important role housing authorities play in providing federal HCD resources to meet local needs as we also seek to get our fiscal house in order.
Thank you for making this effort. This is a difficult time. We will continue to inform you as events and information warrant, but please contact John Bohm or Cortney Watson if you have questions or need assistance.