Relevant Legislation

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Alliance Legislative Report (updated on March 31)

Impact

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

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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 $3.1 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. Representatives and Senators on the House and Senate Transportation-Housing and Urban Development (THUD) Appropriations Subcommittees are currently considering recommendations made by the Administration, their colleagues, various interest groups, and their constituents. Their proposals for HAG funding in FY2021 should be revealed in a House mark up in May and a Senate mark up in June--but the appropriations process will still have 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. Representatives and Senators on the House and Senate THUD Appropriations Subcommittees are currently considering recommendations made by the Administration, their colleagues, various interest groups, and their constituents. The extent of their efforts to protect Housing First in the FY2021 funding measure should be revealed in a House mark up in May and a Senate mark up in June--but the appropriations process will still have 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. Representatives and Senators on the House and Senate Transportation-Housing and Urban Development (THUD) Appropriations Subcommittees are currently considering recommendations made by the Administration, their colleagues, various interest groups, and their constituents. Their proposals for HCV funding in FY2021 should be revealed in a House mark up in May and a Senate mark up in June--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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COVID-19: Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, P.L. 116-136

Impact

The CARES Act (P.L. 116-136), which became law on March 27, is the third package of new funding and new authorities enacted in order to stimulate the economy and help Americans stay healthy during the COVID-19 pandemic. Thanks to grassroots efforts to educate lawmakers, the CARES Act includes $4 billion in new Emergency Solutions Grants funding to help the homelessness system. The Alliance is providing guidance on how to best use the new money and new authorities as well as identifying what additional resources must be provided in a fourth stimulus package when Congress reconvenes, which is expected to be in May.

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Ending Homelessness Act (H.R. 1856, S. 2613)

U.S. Senate bill: S. 2613, introduced by Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA) — The Ending Homelessness Act

U.S. House bill: H.R. 1856, introduced by Representative Maxine Waters (D-CA-43) — The Ending Homelessness Act

Impact

The Ending Homelessness Act (H.R. 1856, S. 2613) would provide substantial additional funding for homelessness programs around the country outside of the regular annual appropriations process. The bill would appropriate $13.3 billion in mandatory emergency relief funding over 5 years to several critical federal housing programs and initiatives, providing the resources that these programs need to effectively address the homelessness crisis in America. H.R. 1856 has been approved by the House Financial Services committee and could be considered on the House floor later this year. No action has been taken on S. 2613.

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Ensuring Equal Access to Shelter Act (H.R. 3018, S. 2007)

U.S. Senate bill: S. 2007, introduced by Senator Brian Schatz (D-HI) — Ensuring Equal Access to Shelter Act

U.S. House bill: H.R. 3018, introduced by Representative Jennifer Wexton (D-VA-10) — Ensuring Equal Access to Shelter Act

Impact

The Alliance-endorsed Ensuring Equal Access to Shelter Act (H.R. 3018, S. 2007) would forbid the Administration from replacing the Equal Access Rule, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity in HUD programs. H.R. 3018 has been approved by the House Financial Services Committee, and it could be considered on the House floor later this year. No action has been taken on S. 2007.

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Eviction Crisis Act (S. 3030)

U.S. Senate bill: S. 3030, introduced by Senator Michael Bennet (D-CO) — Eviction Crisis Act

Impact

The Eviction Crisis Act (S. 3030) would establish a federal emergency housing assistance grant program which would provide aid to people experiencing housing insecurity in order to prevent them from becoming homeless. S. 3030, which is supported by the Alliance as part of the Opportunity Starts at Home campaign, has yet to draw any formal consideration by the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs.

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Expanding Eligibility for HUD-VASH to Other-Than-Honorably Discharged Veterans (H.R. 2398 and S. 2061)

U.S. Senate bill: S. 2061, introduced by Senator Jon Tester (D-MT) — Veteran Housing Opportunities and Unemployment Support Extension Act

U.S. House bill: H.R. 2398, sponsored by Representative Scott Peters (D-CA-52) — Veteran Housing Opportunities and Unemployment Support Extension Act

Impact

The Alliance strongly supports legislation (H.R. 2398 and S. 2061) that would expand eligibility for Housing and Urban Development-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) benefits to homeless veterans who have received an “other than honorable” (OTH) discharge. H.R. 2398 was approved by the House with little opposition. The Alliance has urged the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs to approve S. 2061.

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