As reported in our May News & Legislative Update, House Bill 1409 to end discriminatory rental practices against voucher holders and victims of domestic violence was amended in the Senate to instead create a Study Commission. The House did not concur with the Senate’s amended version of the bill, and requested a Committee of Conference to try finding common ground between the House and Senate versions.
The House and Senate appointed conferees, who met May 28 . Unfortunately, they were unable to reach agreement on the final bill language. As a result, HB1409 died in conference.
The Concord Monitor and NH Business Review report more details:
The National Disaster Tax Relief Act of 2014, S.2233, was recently introduced in the Senate. In addition to providing tax relief for the communities impacted by Hurricane Sandy, this bill would also provide relief to all of the communities impacted by federally declared disasters in 2012 and 2013, as well as Hurricane Irene from 2011. New Hampshire is one of 22 states included in the bill, and would qualify for a one-time additional LIHTC allocation for Carroll and Grafton Counties of $1.45 million. Senator Shaheen has co-sponsored the legislation.
The House Appropriations Committee passed its Transportation-Housing & Urban Development (T-HUD) bill last week in a 28-21 vote. While the House bill level funds many key programs, the proposed cut to HOME could be another hit to this valued program if not restored in the Senate. Advocates are also seeking restoration of all of the vouchers lost to sequestration. Click here for an updated budget chart with line-by-line comparisons since FY10.
The US Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs approved housing finance reform legislation on May 15 by a vote of 13-9. However, because the measure was unable to garner support from six key Democratic senators on the Committee, the legislation is unlikely to advance to the full Senate before the end of the 113th Congress. As drafted, the bill would have provided $3.75 billion a year for the National Housing Trust Fund, which could have meant up to $5-10 million in additional funding for NH. The new director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), Mel Watt, noted at a recent address that his agency will not be weighing in on the pending legislation.
President Obama last week nominated HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan as the new Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). The President also nominated San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro to take over leadership of HUD. Senate confirmation is required for OMB Director as well as for Cabinet Secretaries.
As the state legislative session nears its close, housing advocates can celebrate important advocacy efforts, while still awaiting resolution on some key issues. This year’s challenge to the Workforce Housing Law was killed early on in the House, while a broad effort to advance fair housing looks likely to result in a legislative study commission.
NH’s Congressional delegation has also heard frequently from housing advocates regarding support for key HUD and USDA Rural Development programs in FY 15 appropriations, as well as support for the Low Income Housing Tax Credit program and critical disaster tax relief legislation.
Find more housing policy news and links to helpful resources here in our May 2014 issue.
In a 4-2 decision by Senate Judiciary last week, HB 1409 was recommended Ought to Pass as Amended and the bill now proposes a study commission to further examine housing discrimination against individuals who receive federal housing assistance or who have been victims of domestic violence, stalking, or sexual assault. As proposed, the commission would report out findings by Nov. 1, 2014. Senate votes May 15.