|News from NHC"s family of members|
by Radiah Shabazz, National Housing Conference
In celebration of the new online resources NHC is developing, we're featuring stories about the tools and resources of some of our members.
NHC member Habitat for Humanity International ensured the congressional August recess wasn’t a lag on the advocacy front with the release of its August Recess Advocacy toolkit, which focused on the HOME Investment Partnerships Program (HOME). As NHC has previously reported in the Washington Wire, funding for the HOME program has been at risk of major cuts in the FY 2016 appropriations process.
The toolkit includes an overview of focus issues and ways housing advocates can target their state lawmakers to ensure a better understanding of how HOME helps developers and organizations like Habitat for Humanity to meet the affordable housing needs of low-income families. The Senate appropriations subcommittee has proposed to cut HOME by 93 percent for FY 2016, taking its current funding level of $850 million down to only $66 million. Habitat for Humanity International is asking that Congress restore HOME funding to no less than $1.06 billion.
Habitat’s toolkit encourages its affiliates and other advocates to host meetings with members of Congress to explain the significance of HOME in helping affordable housing developers to provide safe, healthy and adequate housing. The petition also sends emails directly to members of Congress about the importance of maintaining funding for the HOME program.
NHC actively supports maintaining funding for HOME and in July signed on to a letter to House Speaker John Boehner and other congressional leadership about the importance of HOME, urging them to lift the budget caps and continue to fully fund the program. Chris Estes, NHC president and CEO, wrote recently that "This is a moment in time where all organizations involved in the provision of affordable housing need to add their voices to the advocacy on this issue."