March 27, 2017

Community Developments: HOME Sign-on Letter, Health Care + Tax Reform

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  • The HOME Coalition is organizing a national sign-on letter for state and local organizations, businesses and other stakeholders urging Congress to reject the Trump Administration’s proposal to eliminate the HOME Investment Partnerships (HOME) program and restore its funding to at least $1.2 billion in fiscal year 2018 (FY 18). Please sign onto the letter by the March 31 deadline. Enterprise also urges Members of Congress to sign onto the House HOME FY 18 “Dear Colleague” letter asking the House Transportation, Housing and Urban Development and Related Agencies (THUD) Appropriations Subcommittee to provide at least $1.2 billion in funding for HOME in FY 18. Learn more about how you can take action to protect the HOME program in Enterprise’s blog post.
  • With the American Health Care Act (AHCA) being pulled from consideration by the House on Friday, President Trump and Congressional Republicans are expected to start working this week on corporate tax reform. The President has previously discussed plans to lower tax rates, close certain tax loopholes and implement taxes on imports. However, initial plans to overhaul the tax code relied heavily on passing the AHCA, which would have eliminated $1 trillion of Affordable Care Act taxes and associated federal spending. As a result, Congressional leaders may be unable to change the tax code in a sweeping fashion called for by the President. (The New York Times, March 26)
  • A new survey by the Federal Reserve finds a strong connection between childhood poverty and the economic challenges those children face as adults. According to the survey findings, adults who regularly worry about food, care or safety as children are less likely to be employed, have consistent income month-to-month and be able to pay their bills in full each month, compared to their counterparts who stated that they never worried about these issues as children. “Broadly speaking, children who grow up in insecure circumstances, those often experienced in poverty, seem disproportionately likely to experience financial insecurity as adults,” said Janet Yellen, chair of the Federal Reserve. (The Wall Street Journal, March 23)
  • Proposed budget cuts at HUD could leave low-income residents across the nation without the vouchers they need to stay in their apartments and may halt construction of affordable housing. In Chicago and Illinois generally, where thousands of voucher holders could lose their benefits, housing groups are urging Congress to reject any cuts. “This is very serious,” said Andrea Traudt Inouye, executive director of the Illinois Housing Council, “people who have been getting vouchers could end up losing their homes.” According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, Illinois could lose 8,000 vouchers, and the National Low Income Housing Coalition estimates as many as 200,000 vouchers could be lost nationwide. (Chicago Tribune, March 24)
  • A blog post in Urban Turf looks at the impact the proposed federal budget would have on the Washington, D.C., housing market. David Bowers, vice president and Mid-Atlantic market leader for Enterprise Community Partners, notes that the District of Columbia alone could lose up to $17 million in funding that could be used for affordable housing and community development, and the losses to suburban jurisdictions would also be significant. In addition, the proposed cuts to HUD’s programs could reduce the region’s ability to use the private sector capital and expertise for developing affordable housing, since affordable housing developments are generally funded through public-private partnerships. (Urban Turf, March 23)

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