Weekly update from the National Housing Conference
April 17, 2018
President's Message I By David M. Dworkin
Dear Friend,

When I was named president of NHC, I reached out to many former colleagues and current friends for their advice. How can we be a more effective leader and partner? How can we better advocate for the affordable housing industry and those most in need of quality affordable homes? How can we maximize our impact in a time of such extreme polarization? I got a lot of great feedback, but some of the most valuable was from my friend Bob Pohlman. 

In the wards of Washington, D.C., far from the Capitol and White House, Bob is an icon of affordable housing; formerly the executive director of the Coalition for Nonprofit Housing & Economic Development (CNHED) from 2000 to 2014, and a senior leader in the D.C. government for over 20 years. Bob was a pivotal figure in creating and funding the D.C. Housing Production Trust Fund, which has gone on to become one of the nation’s most successful housing trust funds in existence. It has invested more than $400 million to help finance the production of more than 8,000 affordable homes for families in every ward of the city. 

Bob’s advice to me still reverberates: winning isn’t easy. It takes sustained advocacy. D.C.’s Housing Production Trust Fund took ten years to approve and fund. Today it is the envy of every other major city in the nation.

As we continue to advocate for funding increases in the allocation for the Low Income Housing Tax Credit, reliable funding for CDBG and HOME and a long-term future for the Capital Magnet Fund and Affordable Housing Trust Fund, we need to remember that we are engaged in sustained advocacy. Our success is dependent on our ability to work together, overcome disagreements and keep pressing for our agenda. 

President Trump’s recent threat to rescind funding from the just-passed FY 2018 omnibus is an important reminder that patting ourselves on the back for past victories is a luxury we can’t afford. Not while millions still struggle to find affordable housing and the African-American homeownership rate is lower today than it was in 1968 when the Fair Housing Act was passed– fifty years ago this month.

We’ll be hearing more about sustained advocacy in Washington, D.C., as well as Detroit, Michigan, at our annual Gala on June 14. Gala sponsorships are still available and the deadline for sponsors to be included in our printed invitation is April 20. Please check out our many options for supporting NHC, and thank you for everything you do to defend our American Home.
David M. Dworkin
President and CEO
News from Washington I By Kaitlyn Snyder
White House issues executive order on reducing poverty

Last week, the White House issued an executive order on reducing poverty in America by promoting opportunity and economic mobility. The order calls for the Secretaries of the Treasury, Agriculture, Commerce, Labor, Health and Human Services, Housing and Urban Development, Transportation, and Education to review all programs, regulations and guidance and within 90 days, submit a list of recommended regulatory and policy changes to the Director of the Office of Management and Budget and the Assistant to the President for Domestic Policy. 
NHC joins thank-you letter to THUD appropriations chairs and ranking members

NHC joined with the Campaign for Housing and Community Development Funding to thank the Chairs and Ranking Members of the House and Senate Transportation, Housing and Urban Development and Related Agencies appropriations subcommittees for the increased FY 2018 appropriations. 
Sen. Shelby approved as new Chairman of Senate Appropriations Committee

Last week, Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) was approved as the Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee. Sen. Shelby takes the helm of this powerful committee following the retirement of Sen. Thad Cochran (R-Miss.). The chairs of several subcommittees were changed, but Senator Collins (R-Maine) will remain the Chair of the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development and Related Agencies subcommittee. 
Speaker Ryan does not plan to seek reelection

On April 11, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) announced his plan to retire at the end of his current term. The announcement comes amid speculation about his retirement and internal Republican jockeying for the role of Speaker, should Republicans retain their majority in the House. Depending on the outcome of the 2018 election, either the Democratic or Republican caucus will vote for a new Speaker of the House at the beginning of the 116th Congress in early January 2019. 
HUD awards CDBG-DR funding

Last week, HUD awarded nearly $28 billion to support long-term disaster recovery in hard-hit areas in nine states, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The funding is provided through the Community Development Block Grant – Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) Program and will address seriously damaged housing, businesses and infrastructure from major disasters that occurred since 2015. Of the $28 billion, $12 billion will go towards relief efforts in areas that experienced major disasters in 2017 and nearly $16 billion will support mitigation activities in areas that experienced major presidentially declared disasters since 2015. 
Hearing on HUD PD&R nomination

Today at 10 a.m. EDT, the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs will hold a nomination hearing for Seth Appleton to serve as the assistant secretary for policy development and research (PD&R) at HUD. Appleton currently serves as an acting assistant secretary and general deputy assistant secretary at HUD, where he manages HUD’s congressional and intergovernmental relations.  
House hearing on voucher oversight and legislative proposals

Today at 2 p.m. EDT the House Financial Services, Housing and Insurance Subcommittee will hold a hearing entitled “ Housing Choice Voucher Program: an oversight and review of legislative proposals.” The legislative proposals under review are the Housing Choice Voucher Mobility Demonstration Act of 2018, the Transitional Housing for Opioid Recovery Demonstration Program Act of 2018 and the Fostering Stable Housing Opportunities Act of 2018. The witnesses are Barbara Sard of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities; Ruth White of the National Center for Housing and Child Welfare; Lynn Kovich of the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services; and Dean Hammond of the Foundation for Affordable Housing in Kentucky. The hearing will be held in the Rayburn House Office Building, room 2128 and via webcast.
Join HOME Coalition FY 2019 funding request letter

The HOME Coalition is circulating a sign-on letter urging Congress to fund the HOME Investment Partnerships Program at $1.5 billion in FY 2019. Sign your organization onto the letter by Friday, April 20. All signatories from the FY 2018 letter will be copied over to the FY 2019 letter. If you would like to remove your organization from this letter, please contact Clay Kerchof. Earlier in the month, the HOME Coalition sent a thank you letter to the Chairs and Ranking Members of the House and Senate Transportation, Housing and Urban Development and Related Agencies appropriations subcommittees on securing $1.362 billion for HOME in FY 2018. 
Everyone in America should have equal opportunity to live in a quality, affordable home in a thriving community. The National Housing Conference educates decision makers and the public about housing policies and practices to move housing forward together. NHC convenes and collaborates with our diverse membership of housing stakeholders including tenant advocates, mortgage bankers, nonprofit and for-profit home builders, property managers, policy practitioners, real estate professionals, equity investors and more to advance our policy, research and communications initiatives to effect positive change at the federal, state and local levels. Founded in 1931, we are a nonpartisan, 501(c)3 nonprofit organization.
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