Join the Coalition for Home Repair, the National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC), and other advocates across the nation for a Digital Day of Action TODAY, Friday, December 17 to urge your senators to pass the “Build Back Better Act” and its unprecedented investments in affordable housing!
The Senate could vote on the bill as soon as next week, but congressional leaders must first secure the support of enough senators. Since the bill is moving through the reconciliation process, we know that Republican members will not be voting for it; it is going to be a party line vote. If your Senators are Democrats, we need you to contact them now!
The bill includes $90 million in new funding for USDA Section 504 grants to help low-income rural homeowners repair and preserve affordable homes. Unlike the existing funds, this bill doesn't limit the grants to those aged 62+! USDA 504 is the main program that our Advocacy Task Force has been focused on this year. We really want this bill to pass!
Take Action Today!
- Email and call your senators today and urge them to pass the Build Back Better Act! Tell your members of Congress why investments in housing are critical to your community. Find the phone number for your members of Congress here or send an email (copy email@example.com on your email, please!).
- Sample email message:
“Dear [staffer name],
I am writing to ask [Member of Congress’s name] to vote in favor of the Build Back Better Act. Our nonprofit, [add name], repairs homes for low-income households in [locations]. We are especially supportive of the bill's inclusion of $90 million in new funding for the USDA Section 504 grants to help low-income rural homeowners repair and preserve affordable homes.
Unlike the current funds available through this program these grants won't be limited to those aged 62+. This is great news for low-income homeowners of all ages. In our community [add a sentence or two about the impact this could have in your service areas].
Thank you in advance for your support of more funding for affordable housing. Please let me know if you have any questions."
- If your Senators are Republicans, you are encouraged to still reach out to them. It's important for them to hear that this bill and affordable housing issues are important to their constituents.
Background (provided by NLIHC):
The House of Representatives voted on November 19 to approve the Build Back Better Act, an historic economic recovery package that includes significant investments in housing including $15 billion for the national Housing Trust Fund to build and preserve over 150,000 affordable, accessible homes for households with the lowest incomes.
Before the bill can be enacted into law, it now must be approved by the Senate, where the legislation must garner the support of every single Democratic senator. Congressional leaders are using the “budget reconciliation” process that allows Congress to enact legislation with a simple majority in the Senate, rather than the typical 60 votes.
Congressional leaders aim to pass the bill into law before Congress adjourns at the end of the year. Centrist Senators Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Krysten Sinema (D-AZ), however, have not yet publicly agreed to vote for the legislation, and there remains strong disagreement over the size and scope of the package.
Because changes are expected before the bill goes to the Senate floor, the House will have to vote again to approve the updated legislation before it can go to the president’s desk for his signature. To pass the House again, nearly all Democratic representatives will need to vote for the legislation.