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Housing Call: November 16, 2021

Federal updates

  • Advocates are watching to see if the House holds a vote on the Build Back Better Act this week as planned. There is some uncertainty about the Build Back Better legislation moving forward without the leverage of the infrastructure package, which was passed by the House on Nov. 5. A specific vote date in the House has not been set and moderate Democrats have requested a Congressional Budget Office analysis of the bill before moving forward.

Build Back Better is facing renewed criticism from Republicans amid concerns about increasing inflation. However, White House National Economic Council Director Brian Deese cited high inflation as a reason to pass it, saying, “This bill is actually going to address the core costs that American families are facing in child care, in housing, in health care.”

  • Lawmakers in Washington are also approaching deadlines on government funding and the U.S. debt limit. Federal government operations are funded through Dec. 3. A partial shutdown is possible if Congress doesn’t approve a stopgap budget.

North Carolina updates

  • Lawmakers in the NC General Assembly released a conference budget on Monday evening, reflecting a two-year budget totaling nearly $53 billion in state funds. The governor and Republican leadership were not able to reach agreement on key issues, particularly around Medicaid expansion, but Governor Cooper has indicated that he will sign the bill. This N&O article includes a breakdown of the topline numbers.

Relating to housing, the major funding highlight is the allocation of $170 million in federal funds to the Workforce Housing Loan Program. Thanks to everyone that contacted lawmakers in support of these funds. Additionally, some of the more concerning policy provisions relating to NCHFA that were included in earlier iterations of the budget have been removed, which is a win for housing advocates.

A more comprehensive list of the housing investments and funding levels can be found in the Coalition’s budget alert circulated this morning.

The Senate began voting on the budget Tuesday afternoon and it’s likely to pass quickly in both houses. The process does not allow for amendments and it will be passed by a simple majority vote before heading to the governor’s desk, likely by late Thursday or Friday.


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Housing Call: November 9, 2021

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