Federal Legislative Advocacy

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We advocate for positive policy change in both Washingtons.

In choosing our national policy priorities, we consider what policies will have the greatest impact in Washington and how to advocate for them effectively. We also look to our national partners, including the D.C.-based National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC), of which we are a member.
Go here to learn about the NLIHC's ongoing national policy issues.

Watch this page for regular updates. For more information, contact Executive Director Rachael Myers at rachael(at)wliha(.)org.


August Recess 2017

Congress is in recess from now through Labor Day, which means your federal lawmakers are home in Washington state and it's the perfect time to schedule an in-person meeting with them (find who your lawmakers are here, and use this guide for local contact info). Important decisions will be made about the national budget when they return to Washington DC, so recess is the best time to educate them about how potential budget cuts would be harmful for community members who need access to affordable homes.  

Another great way you can have an impact as an affordable housing advocate is to attend a town hall meeting. At town halls you can ask pointed questions of your lawmaker and elevate awareness about housing affordability in your area. Click here to find out if your lawmaker is holding a town hall meeting (search by zipcode), and which town hall meetings are happening near you.

And we won't send you there empty handed! Below are a list of sample questions you can ask at your town hall.

  • Only 1 in 4 people who need housing assistance actually gets this help. Without a deal to lift the spending caps, this shortfall could get even worse if we see funding cuts to programs that help families keep roofs over their heads. Where will these families go if they are evicted from their homes or have to live out of their cars?
  • Without a bipartisan deal to lift spending caps, Congress may cut or eliminate resources that our state uses to revitalize distressed areas, build senior centers and health clinics, help families get out of shelters and into homes, and help the lowest income people afford a place to live. What are you doing to help reach a budget deal?
  • We are facing an affordable rental housing crisis in our state and across the nation. It will be impossible to solve this problem unless Congress lifts the spending caps so that we can invest more — not less — in housing opportunities. Will you commit to this? And what more should Congress be doing to address this national crisis?
  • Republicans in Congress are currently discussing ways to reform the mortgage interest deduction in the broader conversation around tax reform. This raises the question of how Congress should invest the savings generated by mortgage interest deduction reform: lower tax rates or reinvest the savings in affordable housing. Do you support keeping housing dollars in housing?

Additional Resources:

Summer 2017 Issues Guide from NLIHC: The top five critical issues before Congress

Resources from NLIHC's Our Homes, Our Voices campaign: Resources include talking points, sample op-eds, tweets, and how-to guides for setting up in-district meetings and site visits.

 


United for Homes

NLIHC has launched a new campaign to make modest reforms to the mortgage interest deduction (MID) that would benefit millions of lower income homeowners and generate revenue to end homelessness and housing poverty in America. Through these reforms it's possible to invest deeper in affordable homes without increasing costs for the federal governement. Check out United for Homes here.


Low-Income Housing Tax Credit

The Housing Credit is our nation’s most successful tool for encouraging private investment in the production and preservation of affordable rental housing. Since it was created in 1986, it has financed nearly 3 million affordable apartments, providing homes to roughly 6.5 million low-income households while transferring risk from the government to the private sector. We're advocating to protect, expand, and strengthen this credit. Learn more here.


Federal Budget

The ability to serve low-income people in need depends on federal appropriations. NLIHC monitors the federal budget process and we advocate with them for the highest possible allocation of resources at HUD and the USDA Rural Housing Service to support affordable housing and community development. Learn more here.