Washington Snapshot

Washington Snapshot: Federal Plan to Close Housing Supply Gap

Friday, May 20, 2022 - 1:29 pm
Stephanie Powers

What's Happening This Week...

Please note: The Council releases new editions of Washington Snapshot in line with the congressional calendar. We expect to publish the next edition when Congress reconvenes in June unless there is breaking news affecting the philanthropic sector.

Happening at the Council

Getting Started with Values-Aligned Philanthropy

Building on the work of the Council's 2021 white paper, Values-Aligned Philanthropy: Foundations Resisting Hate and Extremism, this webinar will offer information and how-tos for community foundations. Join us to learn about community foundation anti-hate and values-aligned policies, discuss the issue with your peers, and get guidance for using our new toolkit, launching June 13. Register now!

Council Member Week: Federal Roundtables and More!

Have you ever wanted to talk directly to the federal officials who design and implement the programs that fund your grantees and can bring resources to your underserved communities? Meet some of the federal government’s philanthropy liaisons during the Council’s upcoming Member Week!  


On June 15 from 1:00-2:30 p.m. ET, join roundtable discussions with the Council’s Federal Philanthropy Liaisons from the Departments of Education, Health and Human Services, and Agriculture. You can also learn more about the recently announced cross-government Equity Action PlansRegister today to secure your spot! 

Happening on the Hill

Congressional Update

On Thursday, the Senate passed a $40 billion supplemental aid package for Ukraine, which includes military support as well as other humanitarian aid. In addition, the Senate passed by voice vote a bill to establish a commission to study the possible creation of a national museum of Asian Pacific American History and Culture. Both bills now go to the President’s desk for his signature.

On the other side of Capitol Hill, the House approved emergency funding for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to help address the baby formula shortage. In addition, the House passed the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2022 (H.R.7309), which reauthorizes job training, career services, and other employment services and expands workforce development opportunities. Both bills now go to the Senate for their consideration.

Happening in the Executive Branch

IRS Releases Guidance on Employer-Leave-Based Donations to Ukraine

The IRS released guidance (Notice 2022-28) on the treatment of employer-leave-based donations that render cash payments to assist civilians in Ukraine. Payments made by an employer before January 1, 2023, will not be treated as gross income or wages of the employees of that employer. An employer may deduct qualified leave-based donation payments under the rules of section 170 or section 162.

Biden Administration Addresses the Infant Formula Shortage

The Department of Health and Human Services Partnership Center is hosting a webinar on Friday, May 20 at 3:00 p.m. ET for community leaders, including philanthropies and nonprofits, on the status of the Administration’s plan to address the shortage and how to protect infant health. President Biden has directed his Secretaries of Agriculture (USDA) and Health and Human Services (HHS) to work urgently to ensure that, during the Abbott Nutrition voluntary recall, infant formula is safe and available for families across the country. HHS’s fact sheet lists tools and resources to help families find formula (Spanish version).

The President met on May 12 with retailers and manufacturers and on May 17 issued a Memorandum on the Delegation of Authority Under the Defense Production Act to Ensure an Adequate Supply of Infant Formula, essentially invoking the National Defense Production Act, an authority to expedite and expand the supply of materials and services from the U.S. industrial base needed to promote national defense.

Biden Administration Call to Action to Help the Community of Buffalo

President Biden issued a statement on May 14 expressing his and First Lady Jill Biden’s remorse upon hearing of the racially motivated murders in Buffalo that day. On a trip to the city on May 17, the President implored all Americans to reject the ideology of hate and said that “none of us can stay in the sidelines.” On May 18, the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships announced that culturally competent counselors and pastoral care volunteers are needed to increase the availability of grief and crisis counseling services to the Buffalo community, including for school-aged children. Any funders or grantee partners willing to engage this way can contact partnerships@WHO.EOP.gov.

Treasury Seeks to Develop a Modernized, Equitable IRS

The Department convened a roundtable discussion on May 18 with key tax and equity policy stakeholders on ways to modernize and ensure a more equitable tax administration in the years ahead in light of the IRS’s increased role as a benefits administrator within the federal government and the US economy, particularly for low-income Americans. Officials cited the Child Tax Credit under the American Rescue Plan Act as an ongoing case study. Input was also sought on how to overhaul tax enforcement to create a more equitable tax code, with officials emphasizing the need to prioritize IRS investments to achieve that goal.

Federal Action Plan to Close the Housing Supply Gap in Five Years

President Biden released a comprehensive Housing Supply Action Plan on May 16 aimed at easing the burden of housing costs over time by boosting the supply of quality housing in every community. The Plan will help renters who are struggling with high rental costs, with a particular focus on building and preserving rental housing for low- and moderate-income families. The plan includes legislative and administrative actions that will help close the nation’s housing supply shortfall in 5 years, starting with the creation and preservation of hundreds of thousands of affordable housing units in the next three years.

Census Bureau Releases 2020 Undercount and Overcount Rates by State

On May 19, the Census Bureau released the 2020 Census-estimated undercount and overcount rates from the Post-Enumeration Survey (PES) by state and the District of Columbia (D.C.). The PES estimates show how well the 2020 Census counted everyone in the nation by creating an independent estimate of the number of people living in the United States on April 1, 2020. Generally, the counts for 36 states and D.C. did not have a statistically significant undercount or overcounts; there were undercounts in six states and overcounts in eight. Consult the Bureau’s data visualization tool to check out the count for each state and the District of Columbia.

Philanthropic funders interested in engaging on census issues, both related to the 2020 Census and looking forward to the 2030 Census, should contact Funders' Committee for Civic Participation (FCCP), which hosts the Funders Census Initiative.

Happening in the States

National Council of Nonprofits

Exclusive from our colleagues at the National Council of Nonprofits.

States Making Fundraising More Available

Some lawmakers are seeking to make it easier for nonprofits to fundraise and host events in their states. In Hawai`i, a bill to remove the state tax on fundraisers has passed the Legislature and is awaiting approval by the Governor. Arizona nonprofits that have only been in existence for one year, as opposed to five years, may now conduct raffles thanks to a new law. All nonprofits are still limited to three raffles annually and can only receive up to $10,000 total per year. Event applications in Tennessee no longer need to be signed by a nonprofit organization’s chair, president, or chief administrative officer, a limitation that has been an administrative headache and hindered smaller organizations in the state. Finally, starting July 1, liquor producers may donate their products in Idaho for a benevolent, charitable, or public purpose.

Addressing Workforce Shortages in Childcare

With rising household costs putting additional economic pressures on families, there is growing interest in public policies that support people returning to the workforce, especially women, given that access to quality and affordable child care remains a significant barrier. Beginning this month and running through June 2023, New Mexico is waiving copays for families participating in its Child Care Assistance Program, and the state is expanding eligibility to include families earning up to 400% of the federal poverty level. The state has also opened applications for a grant that provides a stipend of up to $2,000 per semester to early childhood professionals enrolled in a qualifying program at a higher education institution in the state. In Hawai`ipending legislation would create a child care worker subsidy pilot program, with priority given to employees working in rural areas and child care deserts. In Utah, the Return Utah program targets individuals who are looking to re-enter the workforce and have at least a two-year work gap due to reasons that include starting or raising a family and managing mental and physical health. It also encourages employers to offer a return-to-work program.

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