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Congress Nears Deadline to Pass FY 17 Appropriations
When Congress returns to Washington from spring recess THIS WEEK, members will have only four full legislative days before the current continuing resolution (CR) – which is funding the federal government at fiscal year (FY) 16 levels – runs out. In order to continue funding the government after April 28, Congress must either pass a full-year CR for the remainder of FY 17 or a “cromnibus” bill in which some committees receive new FY 17 appropriations while others remain funded through a CR at FY 16 levels. There is strong bipartisan support for passing the completed FY 17 Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development (THUD) appropriations bill as part of a cromnibus package. But controversial proposals to provide funding for a border wall and block federal grants for sanctuary cities could be added to the spending bill, which have the potential to derail negotiations and result in a full-year CR for all agencies or potentially a government shutdown. If Congress fails to pass the completed FY 17 THUD appropriations and enacts a full-year CR without any adjustments known as “anomalies,” approximately 290,000 households would be at risk of losing their housing due to shortfalls in funding for Housing Choice Vouchers and Project-Based Rental Assistance.
If Congress completes FY17 appropriations this week, work will then begin on the FY 18 budget resolution and appropriations bills. The White House released its skinny budget request for FY18 spending in mid-March, which called for a $6.2 billion cut to HUD funding by eliminating multiple grant programs, including the Community Development Block Grant, HOME Investment Partnership, Section 4 Capacity Building and Choice Neighborhoods programs. These cuts would be harmful to families and communities at a time when the demand for affordable homes increasingly outweighs the supply.
Carson assures advocates that White House will include housing funding in infrastructure bill
HUD Secretary Ben Carson said Monday that the Trump administration will seek to include housing funding in a yet-to-be unveiled infrastructure spending bill.
“The part that people are not hearing even though I’ve said it several times is that this administration considers housing a significant part of infrastructure in our country. And as such, the infrastructure bill that’s being worked on has a significant inclusion of housing in it,” Carson said at the National Low Income Housing Coalition conference in Washington… Read more.
H.R.1684 – Disaster Assistance Support for Communities and Homeowners Act of 2017
H.R. 1684 was introduced by Representative Nadler (D-NY) on March 22, 2017. This legislation directs the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to provide assistance to housing cooperatives, condominiums and other homeowners associations, regarding the process to become eligible for disaster assistance. In the wake of Superstorm Sandy, Rep. Nadler has been a strong supporter of efforts to obtain disaster assistance relief for our housing cooperatives. H.R. 1684 was assigned to the House Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee on Economic Development, Public Buildings and Emergency Management.
UPDATE: Congress Unveils Short-Term Stopgap Spending Bill
Bill funds the federal government through the end of next April. Congress must pass it by the end of the week to avert a government shutdown… Read more.
Democrats Push Government Toward Shutdown
Democrats are pushing the government to the brink of a shutdown, with coal country Senate Democrats leading a strategy to oppose a GOP spending bill if their demands aren’t met for a longer extension of expiring health care benefits for coal miners… Read more.
House Appropriations Committee Passes FY17 THUD Spending Bill
The House Committee on Appropriations approved its FY17 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies (THUD) spending bill by a voice vote on May 24. As we reported last week, the bill would… Read more.
Congress Considers Making Co-op Fee Deductible *
On March 3rd, Representatives Eshoo (D-CA) and Representative Thompson (D-CA) introduced the Helping Our Middle-Income Earners (HOME) Act, H. R. 4696. This bill allows for an income tax deduction (up to $5,000) for homeowner association (including housing cooperatives) assessments and fees. The bill would allow homeowners in community associations – condominiums, housing cooperatives and homeowners associations – who earn $115,000 or less in annual income, to deduct up to $5,000 of their association/co-op fees and assessments from their federal tax liability.
*Please note: Unfortunately, HR 4696 has only a 3% likelihood of passage in the current Congress. NAHC will monitor HR 4696 for possible developments.
Anna Eshoo bill proposes tax relief for homeowners: People who pay association fees could get tax break
Homeowners who live in condominiums or other communities required to pay association fees could get some tax relief under a bill introduced Thursday by U.S. Rep. Anna Eshoo, D-Palo Alto. Read more.
First THUD Appropriations Hearing Held, Second Hearing Scheduled
On March 1, HUD Secretary Julián Castro testified on the agency’s FY17 budget request before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies (THUD). Read more.
Veterans Affairs (VA)
VA Loan Guarantees for Housing Cooperatives
Congressional action is needed to include housing cooperatives in the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) Home Mortgage Loan Guaranty program to allow veterans to use this VA benefit to purchase shares in a housing cooperative. Rep. Maloney (D-NY) has introduced bills in the past and plans to do so again this November. NAHC seeks support from veteran organizations as well as co-sponsors for this legislation. If you are a veteran, please help us gain support from veteran organizations. Everyone should ask their congressional representatives to consider co-sponsoring this VA legislative issue.
Amateur Radio Party
Amateur Radio Parity
Legislative efforts in the previous Congress attempted to invalidate private land use restrictions and covenants that ban amateur (HAM) radio broadcasting or place restrictions on the installation of radio towers and antennas used in HAM radio broadcasts. For any restrictions to survive the pre-emption, the restrictions may only protect the “legitimate” interests of the restricting party; otherwise the restrictions are not valid. NAHC is opposed to this legislation because this overrides the ability of the Board of a Cooperative to decide policy for its community.
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