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Alliance Legislative Report (updated on July 8)

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

Impact

This is the Chart of FY21 Funding for Selected Homelessness and Housing Programs. The House has marked up at subcommittee the FY21 appropriations bills for Transportation-HUD, Military Construction and Veterans Affairs, and Labor-HHS-Education. When report language becomes available, the missing funding levels will be completed. 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 Transportation-Housing and Urban Development (THUD) Appropriations Subcommittee 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 THUD Subcommittee, in its July 7 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 Transportation-Housing and Urban Development (THUD) Appropriations Subcommittee included $25.8 billion in its FY21 bill 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. 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), which may be taken up by the Senate in mid-to-late July.

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COVID-19, Next Stimulus Package

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 for the homeless and those in danger of becoming homeless, and cancel the 2020 Continuum of Care Notice of Funding Availability. The Senate's proposal for the next stimulus pacakage will likely be quite different. House and Senate negotiators will have to iron out differences between the two versions. And we will have to fight every step of the way to ensure that our provisions are included in the final conference report.

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COVID-19, Next Stimulus Package: Emergency Solutions Grants

U.S. Senate bill: S. 3856 — The Public Health Emergency Shelter Act

U.S. House bill: H.R. 6724 — 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.

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COVID-19, Next Stimulus Package: Housing Vouchers

U.S. House bill: H.R. 7084 — Emergency Housing Voucher Act

Impact

The Alliance urges House lawmakers to cosponsor the Emergency Housing Voucher Act (H.R. 7084), 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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