Around the State
General Assembly Update
The NC General Assembly returns this week from the 4th of July holiday recess. Activity got off to a slow start with numerous meetings reportedly canceled or postponed at the beginning of the week. The major legislative issues that the Coalition is watching are the FY state 2021-2023 budget and language appearing in HB 366 that defines transient occupancy in a harmful way.
The Senate passed their budget proposal moving the process into the House. For housing, the Senate’s proposed budget left funding for housing programs relatively flat, an especially disappointing move given the economic pressures resulting from the pandemic and the historic amounts of federal recovery funding available to the state. The budget also contains provisions affecting the NC Housing Finance Agency, its processes and programs, including the administration of the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) program and the Homeowner Assistance Fund. For more about the budget and the implications of some of these provisions, please visit our past alert.
The other legislation on the Coalition’s radar is HB 366 (Regulatory Reform Act of 2021), which includes language defining transient occupancy as stays of 90 days or less. In other states and localities that have such definitions, it becomes common for hotel operators to shuffle long-term renters using the facility as their primary residence from room to room to keep them from being able to access protections afforded to “tenants.” Please contact your state representative and ask that they remove this harmful language from HB 366. See action letter
The Coalition will update its networks on the budget’s movement and other legislation affecting housing concerns.
Housing May Be Included in Budget Reconciliation Infrastructure Bill
This week Congress also returned to work after the holiday break. A major focus continues to be on a national infrastructure package. While the bipartisan agreement did not include housing resources to the disappointment of housing advocates across the country, Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA), the Chair of the House Financial Services Committee, reported early this week that the White House has assured her further infrastructure legislation being pursued via the budget reconciliation process would include resources for housing. Waters is the main sponsor of the Housing is Infrastructure Bill which looks to provide over $330 B towards a wide array of housing programs to address issues ranging from homelessness to homeownership.
Please persist to contact NC’s Congressional delegation and tell them that housing IS infrastructure. Housing is foundational to a successful and thriving community and economy in the same way “traditional” infrastructure like roads, bridges, and communications. Go here to contact your representatives: https://www.govtrack.us
House Appropriations Committee Releases Proposed FY2022 THUD Spending
The House Appropriations Committee released its Fiscal Year 2022 draft spending bill which would provide a $6.8 billion increase to HUD’s budget from FY21. Overall, the House spending bill would fund HUD at $56.5 billion. While this an increase from the current spending level, the bill falls $314 million short of the White House’s requested amount for HUD. For details, see NLIHC’s updated budget chart.
Reports & Resources
Housing Policy Debate – Weather or Not: Tracking Hurricanes and Changes to Low-Income Housing Tax Credit Program Plans
Center on Budget and Policy Prioritie – More Housing Vouchers Needed to Help People With Disabilities Afford Stable Homes in the Community