Archive for the ‘News and Legislative Update Archive’ Category

October 2016 News & Legislative Update

Congress’ anticipated Continuing Resolution will fund federal housing and homeless programs at FY 2016 levels until December 9. At the state level, housing advocates are sharing the alarming data released in the annual Residential Rental Cost Survey indicating a severe shortage in the supply of affordable rental homes, generating workforce challenges and undermining economic recovery for New Hampshire families. Click here to read the October Update.

Summer 2016 News & Legislative Update Posted

A successful state legislative session closed with the signing of SB 533, appropriating $2 million to the Affordable Housing Fund for those with substance use disorders. Housing advocates were also pleased to see signs of progress at the federal level with the introduction of the Housing Opportunities Through Modernization Act in the US Senate as well as a LIHTC expansion proposal. For details on these and other topics, as well as reports and events of interest to NH housing advocates, click here.

May 2016 News & Legislative Update

Advocacy for inclusion of recovery housing in the state’s response to the substance use disorder crisis remains a priority of Housing Action NH’s work at the state level. At the federal level, members of NH’s congressional delegation have been leading the way on necessary reforms to rural housing programs to protect affordable units and tenants.

Click here for an update on these and other housing and homelessness topics.

 

News & Legislative Update Feb. 2016

At the State House, Housing Action NH and our coalition members have been actively supporting the reauthorization of the NH Health Protection Program and advocating for supportive housing for those with substance use disorders.

Good news came from the Obama Administration, which just proposed unprecedented new funding to help end family homelessness. In Congress, housing advocates cheered the unanimous passage of the Housing Opportunity Through Modernization Act (HOTMA). HOTMA contains important efficiencies for federal housing programs.

Click here to read our February 2016 Update for details on these topics and more.

News and Legislative Update December 2015

Housing advocates are gearing up for the new state legislative session and a potential major advancement if the House affirms the committee recommendation on the formerly retained accessory dwelling units bill, SB 146. At the federal level, Congress passed and the President signed an omnibus spending bill and tax extenders package that includes several victories.

Click here for more on these and other affordable housing policy news and analysis important to NH.

FY16 Federal Budget & Tax Extenders Update

Congress has released the text of the omnibus spending bill and the tax extenders package. The omnibus funds all 12 appropriations bills, including the T-HUD and USDA bills, for FY16. The House and Senate are expected to vote on the omnibus and the tax extenders package by the end of this week.

Included in the omnibus and tax extenders bills are several potential victories for housing advocates:

HOME: The HOME program, cut by almost 93% in a prior version coming from the Senate Appropriations Committee, was restored to a level of $950 million. This will likely keep New Hampshire’s HOME program running at the small state minimum level of $3 million. Both Senator Shaheen and Governor Hassan assisted with HOME advocacy. Senator Shaheen had cosponsored an amendment to restore HOME funds and Governor Hassan signed a letter with five other New England Governors calling for strong support for HOME.

Homeless Assistance Grants: The omnibus increases Homeless Assistance Grants from FY15’s $2.135B to $2.250B.

Housing Tax Credit: The tax extenders package would permanently extend the minimum 9 percent credit rate (and make it retroactive to January 1, 2015) for new construction and substantial rehabilitation using the Low Income Housing Tax Credit program (LIHTC). The permanent minimum 9 percent rate is considered a major victory, as it is expected to strengthen the Housing Credit by simplifying program administration and allowing states to allocate more Housing Credit equity into individual developments. The bill does not, however, establish a minimum 4 percent credit rate for acquisition that housing advocates had requested.

Public Housing Operating and Capital Funds: The package includes small increases for public housing authorities.

National Housing Trust Fund (NHTF): No NHTF funds are raided in the omnibus. A prior House proposal would have raided 100% of the NHTF’s funds in 2016 and used them to fund the HOME program. If the omnibus is passed, the National Housing Trust Fund will be on track to deliver its first resources to states in 2016 for the production, preservation, and operation of predominantly affordable rental housing for extremely low income households.

USDA Rural Development: Within USDA’s Rural Development appropriations, the omnibus would provide $1.38 billion for Section 521 Rental Assistance, a significant increase compared to FY15’s $1.167 billion, which proved significantly insufficient to meet FY15’s renewal needs. The omnibus bill would also increase funds for the rural housing voucher program.

New VASH Vouchers: The spending package includes new rental assistance vouchers for veterans, a key tool needed to end veterans’ homelessness.

Housing Action NH calls on the NH Congressional delegation to support passage of the omnibus and tax extenders bills. 

We will update you on any further developments.

News & Legislative Update – October 2015

Through strong advocacy from the homeless services provider community, the final state budget included full funding for Emergency Shelters. The efforts to advance opportunities for Accessory Dwelling Units also made progress and the SB 135 Lead Poisoning Commission began its work. At the national level, diverse housing interests have come together to challenge the sequester caps through the Caps Hurt Communities campaign.

In time for the presidential primary season in NH, the UNH Survey Center released poll results that 90% of Granite Staters think housing affordability is a problem and 75% think presidential candidates should address the issue.

Find out more in our October 2015 edition of News & Legislative Update.

July 2015 News & Legislative Update

The state legislative year wound up June 30, and housing advocates celebrated several accomplishments, including a state capital appropriation for the Affordable Housing Fund, passage of lead paint legislation, improved access to driver’s licenses for the homeless, restoration of the Emergency Shelter program in the operating budget (now vetoed) and the defeat of proposed increases to required rental deposits. Given the veto, homeless funding advocates will need to re-engage in the fall. Details on these topics, federal updates, new housing-related reports and event information can be found here.

May 2015 News & Legislative Update

The House subcommittee on T-HUD filed its proposed FY ’16 Federal budget that short-funds or dissolves many critical housing programs. Advocates have called upon Congress to fund HUD programs at the highest possible levels, including fully funding rental assistance vouchers, HOME, Homeless Assistance Grants and more.

Under the NH State House dome, housing advocates have put significant energy into budget matters.  In addition, bills aimed at reducing regulatory barriers to affordable housing development are showing promise and outlined below. In this second half of the legislative session year, compromises and conference committees command our attention.

Click here to read our May 2015 News and Legislative Update for more on these topics, the latest housing and homelessness reports and events, plus a preview of our upcoming Home Matters in NH Week.