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Alliance Legislative Report (updated on August 7)

Impact

This is the Alliance's summary of the issues it is following most closely.

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Appropriations 0: Chart of FY21 Funding for Selected Homelessness and Housing Programs (in millions)

Impact

This is the Chart of FY21 Funding for Selected Homelessness and Housing Programs. The House has marked up the FY21 appropriations bills for Transportation-HUD, Military Construction and Veterans Affairs, and Labor-HHS-Education. Nevertheless, some funding levels may not be available until the bill in question is conferenced. The Senate mark ups have been postponed and not rescheduled.

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Appropriations 1. Funding for Homeless Assistance Grants, FY2021 Transportation-Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Bill

U.S. Senate bill: A bill number will not be assigned until the funding measure has been introduced. — FY2021 Transportation-Housing and Urban Development (THUD) Appropriations Bill

U.S. House bill: A bill number will not be assigned until the funding measure has been introduced. — FY2021 Transportation-Housing and Urban Development (THUD) Appropriations Bill

Impact

The Alliance urges Congress to provide at least $3.4 billion in funding for Homeless Assistance Grants (HAG), which are used by Continuums of Care (CoCs) across the nation to pay for critical elements in the fight against homelessness, including outreach, shelter, and housing. The House FY21 Transportation-Housing and Urban Development (THUD) Appropriations Bill would provide $3.415 billion in funding for HAG in FY21. However, the process has a long way to go.

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Appropriations 2. Preservation of Housing First, FY2021 Transportation-Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Bill

U.S. Senate bill: A bill number will not be assigned until the funding measure has been introduced. — FY2021 Transportation-Housing and Urban Development (THUD) Appropriations Bill

U.S. House bill: A bill number will not be assigned until the funding measure has been introduced. — FY2021 Transportation-Housing and Urban Development (THUD) Appropriations Bill

Impact

The Alliance urges Congress to include language in the FY2021 Transportation-Housing and Urban Development (THUD) Appropriations Bill to protect Housing First, as it did in the FY2020 THUD Appropriations Bill. Housing First, which was adopted as federal policy during the George W. Bush Administration, emphasizes the quick provision of permanent housing to people experiencing homelessness, thus ending their homelessness and serving as a platform from which they can improve their quality of life. The House Appropriations Committee, in its July 14 mark up, included the same pro-Housing First language as last year, along with some additional helpful language upholding the approach--but the appropriations process still has a long way to go.

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Appropriations 3. Housing Choice Vouchers, FY2021 Transportation-Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Bill

U.S. Senate bill: A bill number will not be assigned until the funding measure has been introduced. — FY2021 Transportation-Housing and Urban Development (THUD) Appropriations Bill

U.S. House bill: A bill number will not be assigned until the funding measure has been introduced. — FY2021 Transportation-Housing and Urban Development (THUD) Appropriations Bill

Impact

The Alliance urges Congress to provide at least $25.9 billion in funding for Housing Choice Vouchers (HCV), the federal government's major program for assisting very low-income families, the elderly, and the disabled to afford decent, safe, and sanitary housing in the private market. The House FY21 Transportation-Housing and Urban Development (THUD) Appropriations Bill includes $25.8 billion for HCV--but the appropriations process will still have a long way to go.

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Basic Assistance for Students in College (BASIC) Act (S. 2225, H.R. 4968)

U.S. Senate bill: S. 2225, introduced by Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA) — Basic Assistance for Students in College (BASIC) Act

U.S. House bill: H.R. 4968, sponsored by Representative Norma Torres (D-CA-35) — Basic Assistance for Students in College (BASIC) Act

Impact

The Basic Assistance for Students in College (BASIC) Act (S. 2225, H.R. 4968) would reduce college student homelessness by providing free or subsidized housing arrangements and access to other services. No action has been taken on the Alliance-endorsed legislation.

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Cancelling the 2020 Continuum of Care Notice of Funding Availability

U.S. Senate bill: S. 4320 — The Coronavirus Response Additional Supplemental Appropriations Act, introduced by Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL)

U.S. House bill: H.R. 6800 — The Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions (HEROES) Act

Impact

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) should cancel the 2020 Continuum of Care (CoC) Notice of Funding Availability (NoFA) so that CoCs, providers, and HUD staff can focus on safely sheltering and expeditiously housing folks experiencing homelessness during the unprecedented public heath crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The necessary cancellation language is included in the House-passed HEROES Act (H.R. 6800). Different but tecnically superb cancellation language was included by Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard Shelby (R-AL) in The Coronavirus Response Additional Supplemental Appropriations Act (S. 4320). The Alliance appreciates the strong, bipartisan, and bicameral action already undertaken to cancel the 2020 CoC NoFA, and we will work to ensure that Congress ultmately takes timely action.

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COVID-19, Next Stimulus Package

U.S. Senate bill: eight different bills — The Health, Economic Assistance, Liability Protection and Schools (HEALS) Act

U.S. House bill: H.R. 6800 — The Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions (HEROES) Act

Impact

The HEROES Act (H.R. 6800) would create a $100 billion rental assistance fund, provide almost $12 billion in new Emergency Solutions Grants funding, establish $1 billion in new emergency housing vouchers. The Senate's response consists of eight different bills which are known collectively as The Health, Economic Assistance, Liability Protection and Schools (HEALS) Act. However, none of the bills include any of the Alliance's homelessness and low-income housing requests. The Alliance urges lawmakers to include the House's provisions for homelessness funding, housing vouchers, and rental assistance in the final version of the next stimulus package.

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COVID-19, Next Stimulus Package: Emergency Solutions Grants

U.S. Senate bill: S. 3856, introduced by Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) — The Public Health Emergency Shelter Act

U.S. House bill: H.R. 6724, introduced by Representative Ayanna Pressley (D-MA-7) — The Public Health Emergency Shelter Act

Impact

The Public Health Emergency Shelter Act (H.R. 6724, S. 3856) would authorize $11.5 billion for Emergency Solutions Grants (ESG) to address the immediate health consequences of the pandemic for folks experiencing homelessness. The bill is not intended to move on its own; rather, the bill is a show of support for the inclusion of additional ESG funding in the next stimulus package. House Democratic leaders included this legislation in the HEROES Act (H.R. 6800), their proposal for the next stimulus package. The Alliance is trying to generate House and Senate cosponsors to make it more likely that the ESG spending provision is not dropped in conference. Unfortunately, the eight different bills which are known collectively as The Health, Economic Assistance, Liability Protection and Schools (HEALS) Act, which is the Senate’s response to the HEROES Act, includes no funding for any of the Alliance's homelessness and low-income housing requests.

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COVID-19, Next Stimulus Package: Housing Vouchers

U.S. Senate bill: S. 4164, introduced by Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) — Emergency Housing Voucher Act

U.S. House bill: H.R. 7084, introduced by Representative Maxine Waters (D-CA-43) — Emergency Housing Voucher Act

Impact

The Alliance urges House and Senate lawmakers to cosponsor the Emergency Housing Voucher Act (H.R. 7084, S. 4164), so that support can be shown for increasing the number of vouchers included in the next stimulus package passed to address the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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