April 16, 2018

Community Developments: Letters in Support of Housing and Community Development Programs

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Programming Note: Community Developments will not run on Tuesday, April 17 due to our annual Legislative Action Day. We will return Wednesday, April 18. Join us on social media by signing up for our Thunderclap, and for more ways to get involved, see Enterprise’s recent blog post on tips and tools for effective advocacy.

  • Today is the last chance for advocates to reach out to their Senators and ask them to sign onto the following “Dear Colleague” letters in support of housing and community development funding in the fiscal year (FY) 2019 appropriations process:
    • Senator Joe Donnelly (D-IN) is sponsoring a “Dear Colleague” letter urging the Senate Appropriations Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (THUD) Subcommittee to provide $40 million for the Section 4 Capacity Building for Affordable Housing and Community Development Program in FY 2019. The deadline for Senate offices to sign on has been extended until COB today. Feel free to adapt this sample email in your outreach. Senate offices can sign on by contacting Zak Sawyer at Zak_Sawyer@donnelly.senate.gov.
    • Senators Chris Coons (D-DE) and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) are co-sponsoring a “Dear Colleague” letter urging the Senate Appropriations THUD Subcommittee to provide $1.5 billion for the HOME Investment Partnerships Program in FY 2019. Send a message to your Senators urging them to sign on to the “Dear Colleague” letter. The deadline for Senate offices to sign on is also COB today. For more information or to sign this letter, congressional staff can contact Kelsey Daniels at kelsey_daniels @coons.senate.gov or Brent Palmer at brent_palmer@feinstein.senate.gov.
  • Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ) is sponsoring a “Dear Colleague” letter urging the Senate Appropriations Financial Services and General Government Subcommittee to provide $275 million for the Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund in FY 19. The deadline for Senate offices to sign on is COB this Thursday, April 19
  • The HOME Coalition is circulating a national sign-on letter urging Congress to restore funding for the HOME Investment Partnerships Program to at least $1.5 billion in FY 2019. Sign your organization onto the letter by COB Friday, April 20, and share this action alert with your networks.
  • Representatives Adriano Espaillat (D-NY) and Jenniffer González-Colón (R-PR) have introduced a new bill that would require FEMA and HUD to immediately implement the Disaster Housing Assistance Program (DHAP) to provide low-income displaced families with safe, affordable rental homes. DHAP was created after Hurricane Katrina and has been used following other disasters, such as Hurricane Rita and Superstorm Sandy, but FEMA has not allowed implementation of the program for victims of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria. The bill would also expand the homeownership documentation options that can be submitted to FEMA, which would help victims of hurricanes in Puerto Rico and Texas who lack formal titles to their homes and have been denied FEMA assistance. (NLIHC, April 16) 
  • Los Angeles County has established a pilot program that helps homeowners build new accessory dwellings units (ADUs) or bring existing ADUs up to code in return for renting these units to homeless households or individuals. The program, which offers subsidy in the form of soft or forgivable loans, provides borrowers up to $75,000 to construct a new ADU and up to a $50,000 for converting an existing, unpermitted ADU, and require these units be rented to homeless households/individuals or to housing voucher holders. (NPR, April 13) 

In Case You Missed It 

  • Last month, 100 Resilient Cities, an initiative pioneered by the Rockefeller Foundation, released a report, Safer and Stronger Cities: Strategies for Advocating for Federal Resiliency Policy. It was prepared by Enterprise Community Partners in collaboration with Climate Resilience Consulting, Georgetown Climate Center and HR&A Advisors. This report offers a menu of federal policy recommendations that can help cities become more resilient in the face of changing conditions, focusing on infrastructure, housing, flood insurance, economic development, and public safety. These policy recommendations have been endorsed by 22 mayors from across the country. Read the report on the Enterprise website.

For the latest housing and community development news and notes, follow the Enterprise policy team on Twitter: @E_Housing Policy and subscribe to the Capitol Express Newsletter. The Enterprise Public Policy team works to safeguard, expand and improve programs that end housing insecurity. Learn more about our public policy efforts.

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