Budget news! In addition to across the board progress in both the housing and education budgets, the House Appropriations subcommittees on Transportation, and Housing & Urban Development and Related Agencies (T-HUD) and Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education approved important items that we have advocated for in the President’s proposed 2022 budget, including:
- In housing appropriations, funding for 125,000 new Housing Choice Vouchers and $150 million for housing mobility services! This was a reduction of the amounts request by President Biden and Secretary Fudge but it is a huge step forward (and thank you to everyone who contacted their representatives about this – we will need to repeat this success in the Senate soon). See the bill here.
- In education appropriations, support for the President’s proposal for a “Fostering Diverse Schools” competitive grants program modeled on the Strength in Diversity Act: “$100,000,000 shall be for competitive grants to local educational agencies and State educational agencies to reduce racial and socioeconomic segregation across and within school districts.” Plus the House budget report includes excellent language and direction to the Department of Education to prioritize school diversity across multiple programs and funds. See the bill here and the report here.
AFFH for PHAs: Along with the National Housing Law Project, we published two reports focused on the responsibilities of California public housing authorities relating to both the California Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing statute and the anticipated renewal of the federal AFFH rule. The first is an issue-spotting manual for PHAs, Public Housing Authorities and the New California AFFH Law: How to Spot Key Fair Housing Issues and Set Goals, and the second is a toolkit for advocates, Working with PHAs to Adopt Policies that Affirmatively Further Fair Housing: An Advocacy Guide and Toolkit for Local Advocates. While these resources were developed for California, we think they will also be helpful for public housing authority staff and advocates in other states working to improve PHA fair housing performance.
AFFH comments:We joined the National Fair Housing Alliance, the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, and the Lawyers Committee in regulatory comments on HUD’s interim AFFH rule, emphasizing the improvements we are hoping to see in the next stage of rulemaking.
Advancing Equity in the Home Valuation Process: HUD is hosting a webinar next week to introduce the Interagency Task Force on Property Assessment Valuation Equity – details and registration here.
Linking housing vouchers with a school integration program: Kudos to Connecticut’s Open Communities Alliance and CT House Majority Leader Jason Rojas for designing and passing an innovative pilot bill that will provide an initial pool of twenty state housing vouchers to families participating in the Hartford regional school integration program – the new vouchers will enable Hartford families in the interdistrict “Open Choice” program to move to the town where their children are attending school.