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Housing Matters: Senate Releases Budget

Samuel Gunter, Executive Director

Bringing it Home Conference a Success

Secretary Mandy Cohen, MD, MPH

This last week has been an eventful one in the life of the Coalition. In partnership with the North Carolina Coalition to End Homelessness and the NC Department of Health and Human Services, the Coalition hosted the 3rd Bringing it Home: Ending Homelessness in NC Conference. 415 people from over 150 organizations across the region attended, a more than 15% increase from the previous year. The conference included a day of intensive trainings on critical issues such as rapid rehousing, crisis response, and agency leadership, followed by a day of workshops covering a range of topics important to homelessness service providers across the state. NC DHHS Secretary Mandy Cohen gave the opening again and updated us on her work shifting the culture of our healthcare system away from buying healthcare, and starting to buy health. Presenters including the National Alliance to End Homelessness, NC DHHS, and the Men’s Shelter of Charlotte also offered a variety of national and local perspectives on how to make homelessness rare, brief, and one-time only in North Carolina.

Coalition To Have Leadership Role In State’s Disaster Recovery Efforts

Yesterday morning, the North Carolina Housing Coalition was introduced as the lead agency for the State Disaster Recovery Taskforce (SDRT) Housing Recovery Support Function (RSF). Our role will be to chair the meetings of the Housing RSF that will provide recommendations to the Governor on long-term disaster recovery projects to approve, identify policies that will lead to more resilient communities and an increased supply of affordable housing, and overcome any barriers to the better coordination of public and private entities engaged in long-term recovery efforts. We are honored to be stepping into this role and look forward to engaging you in this is work.

NC Senate Releases Budget

Finally, yesterday afternoon the North Carolina Senate released its budget proposal and committee report that proposes a 33% cut in funding for affordable housing. This is the same cut proposed by the House, although it is distributed differently across the two budget years. The House budget appropriates $20 million to the Workforce Housing Loan Program (WHLP) in the first year of the biennium, and nothing in the second. The Senate budget appropriates $10m in each year.

These proposed cuts reverse the small but steady growth we have seen over the past several legislative sessions in the state’s affordable housing investment.

The Senate and House budgets are far apart from one another, indicating a long process of negotiation between the bodies before we have a final budget. There also remains the prospect that the Governor will ultimately veto whatever budget is approved. Now is the time to call your Senators and let them know that you are disappointed in these proposed cuts to housing at such a critical time for the state of North Carolina.

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