ACTION ALERT: Several Opportunities for Federal Advocacy

Important news update from the Statehouse:

As you may have heard, the Vermont Legislature will be suspending operations for at least one week beginning at the end off the day today, due to concerns around Covid-19 pandemic. Here is the press release from legislators. We sent out information on emergency responses in the notice for Wednesday’s VAHC meeting. We will send out more information soon.

With attention focused on how to respond to the corona virus crisis, and in the midst of a busy state legislative session, it can be easy to lose track of federal housing issues. Right now, there are several critical resources under attack. You and your organization can have an impact by signing on to the following letters and commenting on the following regulations.

Every comment matters. The administration is required to respond to every public comment, delaying the implementation of these catastrophic changes, so long as they are not identical. So, please personalize template letters referenced below.

Comment to oppose Trump’s cuts to the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing Rule (AFFH) Deadline: March 16th

HUD is proposing to completely gut the AFFH rule. This crucial rule helps to undo historic, government-driven patterns of housing discrimination and segregation throughout the U.S. Join us in making comments urging HUD to fully implement – not change – the 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule. More background information from the NLIHC. Make a comment.

Sign on to ask for housing funding in the 2021 federal budget:

State and local governments and the communities they serve rely on federal resources to meet the most basic infrastructure needs of their communities. Sign on to this NLIHC letter urging highest funding possible to Affordable Housing, Community Development, and Transportation Programs in Fiscal Year 2021. Detailed analysis of the budget from the NLIHC. Sign the letter.

Sign on to promote Housing as Infrastructure in the Infrastructure Spending bill:

Congress is advancing plans for a much-needed infrastructure package. As an essential infrastructure need, housing should be included in this package. Sign on to this NLIHC letter urging support for inclusion of housing spending in any congressional infrastructure bill. Sign the letter.

Comment on Trump’s proposed cuts to the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA): Deadline: April 8th

The Trump Administration is proposing to weaken important Community Reinvestment Act rules, which will result in fewer first time home buyers, less ability for small businesses to grow and hire locally, a reduction in the development and preservation of critically needed affordable housing, and decreased consumer access to bank branches and affordable banking products; all while making it easier for Big Banks to meet their reinvestment obligations, and leaving low income communities and communities of color vulnerable to gentrification and displacement pressures. More information from the NCRC Make a public comment.

Sign on to Support using Housing First to End Homelessness

Homelessness is one of our country’s most urgent, tragic, and solvable crises. We can’t end homelessness, however, by ignoring the evidence about what works. These evidence-based approaches include “Housing First” and ending the criminalization of homelessness, both of which the Trump administration has rejected. More information from the NLIHC. Sign the letter.

#AdvocacyandPolicy #Vermont

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