HUD Appropriations, PHADA Meeting Highlight the Month
PHADA President Mark Gillett.
There is a popular song more than six decades old called “See you in September,” which has been recorded by a few different artists. It centers on students entering the summer vacation season, looking forward to the return to school. The title could easily be applied to the current situation with Congress in recess and many people enjoying August vacations while getting ready for the busy fall season ahead.
There is certainly much on the agenda as Congress will return to Washington after Labor Day needing to finalize FY 24 appropriations before the start of the new fiscal year on October 1. This means there are only three weeks for lawmakers to act on a FY 24 budget.
Because of the short timeline, most congressional observers are predicting a lengthy Continuing Resolution (CR), but a government shutdown – while unlikely – is not beyond the realm of possibility. At the same time, PHADA is preparing for its annual Legislative Forum, which is scheduled for September 17–19.
House, Senate Take Different Approaches to Legislation
FY 24 appropriations bills have been written according to the terms of the recent debt ceiling agreement, which capped discretionary spending for the next two years. Despite that bipartisan agreement, the House and Senate are using different methods to develop their respective bills with the House majority arguing the deal set an overall spending limit, not a floor. As result, there are significant differences in the various bills now pending in each chamber. Again, the differences will have to be reconciled soon or at least “punted” under yet another CR.
At this stage, both houses have released their own versions of a T-HUD bill. Neither bill has been considered by the whole chamber, however. Overall, the Senate bill contains more generous funding for our core programs, including public housing operating and capital funds, voucher contract renewals, and HCV administrative fees.
The House proposed a deep cut to the HOME program and no appropriations for the Choice Neighborhoods program. Conversely, the Senate bill funds HOME at current levels and appropriates $150 million to Choice Neighborhoods.
More specifics about both bills are outlined in the PHADA position paper in this edition of the Advocate.
PHADA’s Washington Meeting
The timeline outlined above means that lawmakers will be reconvening during PHADA’s Legislative Forum. As always, we will a have timely agenda with some key lawmakers and HUD officials addressing our members gathered in the capital. More information about the meeting and agenda, including the organizational committee meeting schedule, is included on pages 10–11.
For those of you planning to be in Washington, I encourage you to come to our committee meetings, most of which will be held on Sunday the 17. We will be discussing our positions on a variety of important matters including FY 24 appropriations and regulatory issues such as NSPIRE, HOTMA, and the Fair Housing rule, among others.
I would stress that almost all of our committee sessions are open to anyone interested, especially the Sunday morning briefing session. If you are not a committee member but would like some more information about joining one, here is a summary of each panel’s portfolio.
- The Legislation Committee is charged with reviewing, recommending, and influencing legislation dealing with public and assisted housing matters. Effective advocacy is always a major priority and committee members can help shape PHADA’s legislative objectives and strategy.
- Our Professional Development Committee is responsible for developing training at our conferences, including curriculum for the successful PHADA-Rutgers University Executive Director Education Program. The committee also concentrates on other ways (such as webinars and other electronic communications) HAs can adapt in ever-changing times.
- The Membership Committee is continually looking for new initiatives to better serve those we represent. Whether it is ideas for providing a new service or ways to improve or expand current services, the Membership Committee welcomes your involvement.
- The Housing Committee focuses on advancing PHADA’s positions on policy issues including the urgent need for deregulation, rent simplification, and changes to onerous HUD rules such as HOTMA, AFFH, and NSPIRE.
PHADA also has some other committees, including a Small PHA panel that focuses entirely on matters unique to smaller agencies. In addition, there are Bylaws, Finance, Personnel, and Scholarship committees.
We Want You! How to Join a Committee
PHADA truly is a membership-driven organization that reflects the will and objectives of those it represents. We welcome the active participation of our members to help advance and promote the association’s agenda in these challenging times. Get involved today by completing the online application form now. If you prefer, you may download a PDF application to mail back to Norma Bellew at 511 Capitol Court NE, Washington, DC 20002 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Congressional Advocacy Resources
To help members plan for Washington and their in-district meetings, PHADA hosted an informative webinar covering the status of FY 24 HUD appropriations and related issues. It focused on how to set up Hill meetings, establish relationships with lawmakers, and develop key messages, along with other essential tips and details.
If you we not able to view it live, the session was recorded and you can access it here.