Representative Cole Elected Chair of House Appropriations Committee

Representative Tom Cole (R-OK) was elected by his colleagues on April 10 to lead the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Appropriations. Chair Cole previously served as the chair of the House Appropriations Committee’s Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (THUD) Subcommittee, during which he played a vitally important role in securing increased funding for affordable housing, homelessness, and tribal housing programs in the final fiscal year (FY) 2024 THUD spending bill.

With Chair Cole moving out of his leadership role on the THUD subcommittee, committee Republicans will need to elect a new member to fill the vacant subcommittee chair. Representative Steve Womack (R-AR) is reportedly the top contender to lead the subcommittee. The change in leadership comes as appropriators begin work on the FY25 budget. While Congress is charged with passing all 12 annual spending bills by October 1 – the beginning of the new fiscal year – the FY24 budget was significantly delayed and only finalized on March 22.

Appropriators will need to draft their FY25 spending bills according to the limitations of the “Fiscal Responsibility Act,” the 2023 agreement to raise the federal debt ceiling for two years, in exchange for capping FY24 spending at roughly FY23 levels and allowing for an only 1% spending increase in FY25. Because the cost of housing and homelessness programs rises every year, increased funding is necessary just to maintain the number of households and communities served by these essential programs.

Take Action: Tell Congress to Provide Significant Funding Increases for HUD in FY25

Your advocacy makes a difference! It is thanks to the hard work of advocates that in FY24 – at a time when programs faced cuts of up 25% – HUD received increased funding in the final spending bill.

Congress needs to keep hearing from you about the importance of affordable housing and homelessness programs! NLIHC is calling on Congress to provide the highest possible funding for HUD’s affordable housing and homelessness programs in FY25, including significant funding for NLIHC’s top priorities:

  • Full funding to renew all existing contracts for the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program and expand assistance to 20,000 more households.
  • Full funding for public housing operations and repairs.
  • $4.7 billion for HUD’s Homeless Assistance Grants (HAG) program.
  • $100 million for the Eviction Prevention Grant Program.
  • At least $1.3 billion for Tribal housing programs, plus $150 million for competitive funds targeted to tribes with the greatest needs.

Advocates can continue to engage their members of Congress by:

  • Emailing or calling members’ offices to tell them about the importance of affordable housing, homelessness, and community development resources to you, your family, your community, or your work. You can use NLIHC’s Take Action page to look up your member offices, or call/send an email directly!
  • Using social media to amplify messages about the country’s affordable housing and homelessness crisis, and the continued need for long-term solutions.
  • Sharing stories of those directly impacted by homelessness and housing instability. Storytelling adds emotional weight to your message and can help lawmakers see how their policy decisions impact actual people. Learn about how to tell compelling stories with this resource.

National, state, local, tribal, and territorial organizations can also join over 2,200 organizations on CHCDF’s national letter calling on Congress to support the highest level of funding possible for affordable housing, homelessness, and community development resources in FY25.