Less than two months after passing a continuing resolution (CR) to avoid a government shutdown, Congress returns to snowy Washington this week with another pressing funding deadline. Both chambers must pass a new CR by this upcoming Friday (January 19) to avoid a partial government shutdown that would include the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
First “Laddered” CR Deadline Approaching
In November 2023, Congress passed a “laddered” CR, which established two funding deadlines for appropriations bills. The first deadline of January 19, 2024, applies to funding for HUD programs along with the appropriations bills for agriculture, energy and water, and military construction/Veterans Affairs. If Congress does not pass a CR by midnight on the 19, funding for those programs will lapse and their respective departments would presumably shutdown.
The second laddered CR deadline is February 2, 2024, and applies to the eight other appropriations bills, including those for the Departments of Defense, Labor, and Health and Human Services, among others.
Over the past weekend, Congressional leaders released a new CR proposal that continues the “laddered” approach and extends the funding deadlines to March 1 and March 8, respectively. Importantly, the proposed CR does not include funding cuts or policy riders. The Senate began its process of passing the new CR on Tuesday evening.
PHADA Joins Other Groups in Writing to Avoid Cuts
Last week, PHADA joined over 1,000 other organizations writing to Congressional leadership stressing the importance of full funding for non-defense programs, including affordable housing. The letter encourages Congress to adhere to the budget caps established by the Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2023 (FRA), which established spending caps while also raising the debt ceiling.
Tax Deal Compromise Includes Affordable Housing Provisions but Future Uncertain
In other Congressional news, bipartisan negotiators agreed to a nearly $80 billion tax reform package that includes important changes to the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) program. These changes include:
- Restoring a 12.5% increase to competitive (9%) tax credit allocation that was in place for 2018–2021 but allowed to expire.
- Reducing the bond financing threshold for non-competitive (4%) credits from 50% to 30%.
Both of these provisions are also included in the PHADA-endorsed Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act of 2023 (AHCIA) and, if enacted, would be in effect until 2025. The credit allocation increase would also be retroactively applied to 2023.
The future of the tax deal is still in doubt, however, as Congressional leaders have not endorsed the package nor committed to bringing it to the House or Senate floor either as a standalone bill or included in a larger legislative package.
Contact Your Elected Officials Today
PHADA encourages members to contact their elected officials to emphasize the importance of passing a CR by January 19 to avoid a partial shutdown and of enacting the tax reform package to strengthen the LIHTC program. The Association also encourages members to consult PHADA’s Position Papers on FY 24 appropriations and housing policy priorities to better understand both the House and Senate appropriations bills as well as the Association’s stance on important housing issues.