Fw: CCC Policy Alert # 127

H. C. Covington (ach1@sprynet.com)
Sat, 13 Jun 1998 05:35:07 -0500


Center for Community Change       Policy Alert # 127     June 15, 1998

Encouraging Numbers In Senate HUD/VA Appropriations Bill
Kerry-Bond Amendment Passes Overwhelmingly To Increase Child Care
Funding
Important Bills To Watch Out For In The Coming Weeks
HUD Funding Chart: FY 96-99 Compared

Note: To receive a document from our Fax on Demand service, dial
703/716-7349 and follow the automated instructions. If you did not
receive your fax, received an incomplete fax, or if you experience
technical difficulties, dial 703/716-0600 to speak to a person. To
receive back alerts, or an index of documents, request document #500
from the automated system.


ENCOURAGING NUMBERS IN SENATE HUD/VA APPROPRIATIONS BILL

BACKGROUND: This week the Senate HUD/VA Subcommittee and the full Senate
Appropriations Committee took up their FY '99 appropriations bill.
Altogether the package is encouraging, as it calls for $24.1 billion, an
increase of $2.66 billion above the FY 1998 level.  Some highlights
include:

* elimination of the 90-day waiting period for reissuing vouchers that
are turned back in.
* full funding for expiring section 8 contracts.
* homeless assistance increase from $823 million to $1 billion, with 30%
to be set aside for permanent housing.
* CDBG increase, above the Administration's request, to $4.75 billion,
with a reduction in the amount of set asides.
* $50 million increase in HOPE VI funding for public housing
revitalization.
* HOME increase of $50 million.
* an increase of  $31 million for section 202 elderly housing programs,
and no  consolidation of the elderly and disabled housing programs
(section 811) into the HOME block grant.

The main disappointment was that only $40 million was slated for
incremental vouchers, significantly lower than the Administration's
request of $585 million.  These new incrementals will be specifically
designated for a new self-sufficiency pilot program targeting welfare
recipients in 7 to 10 cities.  Nevertheless, the decision to appropriate
even a small portion of funds for new vouchers is a significant reversal
of congressional policy since 1995.

The public housing capital fund was increased by $50 million to $2.55
billion, but the Senate followed the Administration's recommendation
that operating subsidies be funded at $2.82 billion.  This is a decrease
from FY '98, because HUD claims that less operating money will be needed
due to rising tenant incomes and demolition of units.

The HUD/VA bill largely ignores the President's request for $22
million in additional fair housing enforcement funding through
FHIP/FHAP.  Senator Kit Bond (R-MO) did not increase funding for FHIP,
which supports enforcement done by nonprofit agencies, but did secure $5
million in additional FHAP funding, which goes to local public agencies.


ACTION NEEDED: The House HUD/VA Subcommittee takes action on June 18,
and the full Committee considers the bill on June 25.  Target
Representatives on the Appropriations Committees and urge then to
increase funding for incremental vouchers and other positive proposals
that work to link welfare reform with housing resources.

House Appropriations Committee (* = on HUD/VA subcommittee):
Republicans: Livingston [LA], Chairman, McDade [PA], Young [FL], Regula
[OH], Lewis [CA] (Subcmte Chair)*, Porter [IL], Rogers [KY], Skeen [NM],
Wolf [VA], DeLay [TX]*, Kolbe [AZ], Packard [CA], Callahan [AL], Walsh
[NY]*, Taylor [NC], Hobson [OH]*,  Istook [OK], Bonilla [TX],
Knollenberg [MI]*, Miller [FL], Dickey [AR], Kingston [GA], Parker [MS],
Frelinghuysen [NJ]*, Wicker [MS]*, Forbes [NY], Nethercutt [WA], Neumann
[WI]*, Cunningham [CA], Tiahrt [KS], Wamp [TN], Latham [IA], Northup
[KY], Aderholt [AL]

Democrats: Obey [WI], Yates [IL], Stokes [OH]*, Murtha [PA], Dicks [WA],
Sabo [MN], Dixon [CA], Fazio [CA], Hefner [NC], Hoyer [MD], Mollohan
[WV]*, Kaptur [OH]*, Skaggs [CO], Pelosi [CA], Visclosky [IN], Torres
[CA], Lowey [NY], Serrano [NY], DeLauro [CT], Moran [VA], Olver [MA],
Pastor [AZ], Meek [FL]*, Price [NC]*, Edwards [TX], Cramer [AL]

MATERIALS AVAILABLE: HUD has prepared a chart for each Congressional
District that contains information on how much money is going to that CD
for selected HUD programs in FY '98, and how much is projected for FY
'99.  We have made available through Fax on Demand the charts of all
House HUD/VA Subcommittee members.  Each chart includes a copy of the
background sheet that explains the charts.  If you discuss or give any
charts to members of Congress, make sure to include the background sheet
with it.

To receive the chart for the following Congress members, dial
703/716-7349 and follow the automated instructions.  Request the
document # listed next to your Rep's name.

House: Lewis, CA (1210); Delay, TX (1211); Walsh, NY (1212); Hobson, OH
(1213); Knollenberg, MI (1214); Frelinghusun, NJ (1215); Neumann, WI
(1216); Wicker, MS (1217); Stokes, OH (1218); Mollohan, WV (1219);
Kaptur, OH (1220); Meek, FL (1221); Price, NC (3001).

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Lisa Ranghelli at 202/342-0567,
ranghellil@commchange.org


KERRY-BOND AMENDMENT PASSES OVERWHELMINGLY TO INCREASE CHILD CARE
FUNDING

BACKGROUND:  The Kerry-Bond amendment was accepted into the McCain
tobacco bill on Thursday, June 11.  The amendment mandates that states
earmark a specific portion of their proceeds from the bill
(approximately $5-6 billion over five years) to carry out activities
under the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG).

Unfortunately, Senator Gramm (TX) has an amendment in the same bill that
would not allow any money going to the states from the tobacco bill to
be earmarked. The Gramm amendment, which would eliminate the child care
set-aside in the Kerry-Bond amendment, will likely come up for a vote
today or Tuesday.

ACTION NEEDED: Write and call your senators and urge them to vote
AGAINST the Gramm amendment.  The greatest obstacle for mothers wanting
to make positive employment gains is the unavailability of childcare.
States need the additional funds to assist women who are ready to work,
but are held back by long waiting lists.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Lisa Ranghelli at 202/342-0567,
ranghellil@commchange.org


IMPORTANT BILLS TO WATCH OUT FOR IN THE COMING WEEKS...

Budget Resolution - The House and Senate have made little progress in
their efforts to reconcile each chamber's Budget Resolution into one
overall budget plan.  Overall, the Senate plan is considered preferable
to the House blueprint, which would require huge cuts in domestic
spending programs to pay for tax cuts.  The Senate plan calls for only
$30 billion in tax cuts, compared to $101 billion in the House plan.
Urge your Senators to hold firm to the more moderate Senate Budget
Resolution.

Access to Jobs - The new transportation reauthorization bill, known as
TEA-21, contains $150 million/year for an Access to Jobs Program.  In FY
99, only $50 million of the total is guaranteed; Congress must
appropriate the other $100 million.  Over time, the amount that is
guaranteed increases, so that by FY 2003, the full $150 million will be
guaranteed funding.  Urge members of the Appropriations Committees in
the House and Senate to fund $100 million for Access to Jobs.  Members
of the Senate Transportation Subcommittee should be targeted first.  Key
targets are: Shelby [R-AL], Specter [R-PA], Lautenberg [D-NJ], Mikulski
[D-MD], and Reid [D-NV].  See the STPP web site for legislative updates
on Access to Jobs: www.transact.org/access/index.htm.

Attacks on CRA - The Senate is not expected to take up the Credit Union
bill (HR 1151) until mid-July. Senator Shelby [R-AL] is still expected
to offer an amendment that would exempt small banks from compliance with
the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA). This delay in considering the bill
gives advocates more time to weigh in with their legislators. Urge your
senators to oppose the Shelby amendment, or any other attempts to weaken
CRA.

Attacks on the Fair Housing Laws - It appears that the House Judiciary
Committee may not markup HR 3206, the bill that would attack the Fair
Housing Act, this month.   A full Judiciary Committee markup is
scheduled for June 17, but HR 3206 is not on the agenda.  Fair housing
advocates delivered a sign-on letter opposing HR 3206 to the members of
the Judiciary Committee.  Over 430 national, regional and local
organizations and a number of distinguished individuals endorsed this
letter, which can be found on the Coalition to Preserve the Fair Housing
Act web site: www.bazelon.org/cpfha/cpfha.html. Use this time to remind
members of the House Judiciary Committee that HR 3206 is harmful
legislation.  Fair housing advocates should focus only on members of the
committee and not draw attention to the bill off committee.

PostSecondary Education for Welfare Recipients - The Wellstone amendment
to the Higher Education bill (S 1882) has not been voted on yet, as the
Senate is finishing up work on the tobacco bill.  A vote could occur as
soon as the Senate moves on to consider the Higher Ed bill.  The
amendment would expand educational opportunities for welfare recipients.
Continue to urge your Senators to vote for the Wellstone amendment.


HUD Funding: FY 96-99 Compared (in millions of dollars)

PROGRAM FY 1996 FY 1997 FY 1998 FY 1999
Pres.Req FY 99 Senate App. Comm.
Community Development Block Grants $4,600 $4,604 $4,674 $4,725*
$4,750
Section 108 Loan Guarantees 33 32 30 30 30
HOME Investment Partnerships Program 1,400 1,400  1,500
1,550 1,550
Homeless Assistance Grants 823 823 823 958 1,000
Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS 171 196 204
225 225
Public Housing
       Capital Fund 2,500 2,500 2,500 2,550 2,550
       Operating Fund 2,800 2,900 2,900 2,818** 2,818
       Drug Elimination 290 290 310 310 310
       Severely Distressed (HOPE VI) 480 550 550 550
600
Native American Housing Block Grants ... ... 600 600
600
Indian Housing Development 160 200 ... ... ...
Indian Housing Loan Guarantee 3 3 5 6 6
Special Population Housing
       Elderly (Sec. 202) 830 645 645 159 676
       Disabled (Sec. 811) 258 194 194 174 194
Preservation 624 350 0 0 0
Fair Housing Activities 30 30 30 52 35
Salaries and Expenses (including transfers) 962 977 1,001
1,001 1,001
Housing Certificate Fund:
       Section 8 Contract Renewals 4,008 3,550 8,180 7,191
9,540
       Section 8 Amendments 611 900 850 1,337 0
       Relocation Assistance 400 240 343 373 433
       Incremental Vouchers 0 0 0 585 40
TOTAL HOUSING & URBAN DEVELOPMENT (includes some expenses not outlined
above) $21,004 $19,259 $21,444 $25,017
$24,102

*HUD proposed a decrease in the dollar amount of CDBG set-asides from
$479 million in FY >98 to $292 million in FY >99. Lead-based paint
reduction, Youthbuild and EDI would become stand alone programs.
**HUD also expects utilization of $113 million in anticipated carryover
funds.
------------------------------------------
H. C. Sonny Covington  @  I CAN! America
 Management & Resource Consultants
125 S. Buchanan Street - Lafayette, LA  70501
(318) 235-7005  Fax 318-235-7602
hccovington@usa.net