A Gloomy Forecast Clouds PAHRA/NAHRO "Hill Day"
Skies were cloudy and the forecast was gloomy at our nation’s Capitol on March 28th. Not only was the weather dark and dreary, but also the outlook for housing and community development (H&CD) programs in FY 17 appropriations and the proposed FY 18 budget. It does not appear possible that those grey clouds may have a silver lining as the latest documents from the Office of Management and Budget call for slashing Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding, and reducing or eliminating other HUD programs such as the HOME Investment Partnerships Program (HOME,) and many others.
HUD-funded programs have deep and lasting impacts on our seniors, veterans, the working poor, the physically and mentally challenged, victims of abuse and families with children at risk of homelessness. They provide rental subsidies, stabilize home environments, revitalize communities, help homeowners afford needed repairs, provide supportive services and fund infrastructure projects such as road or bridge repairs. Although Congress has resisted the proposed FY 17 cuts thus far, and appears even less enthusiastic about the proposed FY 18 budget, dozens of PAHRA members travelled to Capitol Hill on a mission to educate, advocate and participate in the annual Hill Day in conjunction with the NAHRO Washington Conference.
Members assembled early to meet with John Crews of Senator Toomey’s office, followed by a similar session with Senator Casey’s legislative aide, Andrew Usyk, who were impressed by the size of our contingency, and listened intently to the issues presented with professional passion. PAHRA and NAHRO hosted a joint session where speakers dug into various details of President Trump’s “skinny budget” and offered their thoughts on the status of H&CD programs in FY 2017 and FY 2018. Four PAHRA teams then spent the afternoon visiting with 17 members of the House or their legislative aides, leaving behind pertinent information to assist the congressmen in making informed decisions regarding H&CD matters, and how their choices impact those whom we serve.
Click the following links to view the text of PAHRA’s Open Letter to Pennsylvania’s Congressional Delegation, as well as the fact sheet on how Housing and Community Development Programs Strengthen Pennsylvania, which were included in our Hill Day informational packet. If you would like a copy of this letter and the accompanying Hill Day literature for your own state or local legislator, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.