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Federal HOME program saved through coalition-building and leadership

Posted by: Leslie Black-Plumeau on January 12, 2016 - 1:17pm

The recent federal budget agreement included the survival of a program that has become a vital funding source for affordable rental housing in Vermont--the HOME Investment Partnership Program.  When proposals arose earlier last year to deeply cut the program, the National Association of Housing Finance Agencies (NCSHA) HOME Coalition tirelessly and effectively gathered evidence of the program’s impact, documented its widespread support and educated federal policy makers.

As a consistent supporter of the HOME program, Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy’s role on the Senate Appropriations Committee was also instrumental in continuing the HOME program. Vermont Housing & Conservation Board Executive Director Gus Seelig recently described the critical role Senator Leahy played and the impact of these funds on recent housing development in Vermont.

The final spending and tax bill passed in December increased HOME funding by$50 million and made permanent the 9 percent minimum Housing Credit rate which provides stability and expanded equity for the majority of Vermont’s future affordable rental housing. These provisions are a major legislative victory for NCSHA, VHFA and its housing finance agency counterparts around the country, VHCB and other program stakeholders.

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