Source: The White House
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Biden-Harris Administration Kicks Off 2023 Implementing Bipartisan Infrastructure Law
The President’s economic plan is proving that when America invests in ourselves – especially in our infrastructure, clean energy, and high-growth industries that are critical to our economic and national security – we can build a bottom-up and middle-out economy. That means an economy with better jobs and better pay, including jobs that don’t require a four-year degree. And it means a more dynamic and more resilient economy, including in communities that are too often forgotten.
This week, during a visit to Brent Spence Bridge in Covington, Kentucky, the President will announce the latest example of how his economic plan is delivering for American families and American communities: more than $2 billion in investments from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to upgrade some of our nation’s most economically significant bridges. To mark this announcement:
- The President is visiting Brent Spence Bridge connecting Covington, Kentucky and Cincinnati, Ohio, where he will be joined by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Senator Sherrod Brown, former Senator Rob Portman, Governor Andy Beshear, and Governor Mike DeWine.
- The Vice President is visiting the bridges crossing the Calumet River in Chicago, Illinois.
- Secretary Buttigieg is visiting the Gold Star Memorial Bridge in New London, Connecticut.
- White House Infrastructure Coordinator Mitch Landrieu will visit the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, California, where he will join Speaker Pelosi.
These major bridge investments are a symbol that we can still do big things when we do them together.
Biden-Harris Administration Announces $1.5 Billion Available through the 2023 RAISE Grant Program
The U.S. Department of Transportation has published a Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) for $1.5 billion in grant funding through the Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) discretionary grant program for 2023. The popular program helps communities around the country carry out projects with significant local or regional impact. RAISE discretionary grants help project sponsors at the State and local levels, including municipalities, Tribal governments, counties, and others complete critical freight and passenger transportation infrastructure projects. The eligibility requirements of RAISE allow project sponsors to obtain funding for projects that are harder to support through other U.S. DOT grant programs.
Full Press Release here
The NOFO is available here. The deadline for applications is 11:59 PM EST on February 28, 2023 and selections will be announced no later than June 28, 2023.
Statement by President Joe Biden on the December Jobs Report
“Today’s report is great news for our economy and more evidence that my economic plan is working. The unemployment rate is the lowest in 50 years. We have just finished the two strongest years of job growth in history. And we are seeing a transition to steady and stable growth that I have been talking about for months. We still have work to do to bring down inflation, and help American families feeling the cost-of-living squeeze. But we are moving in the right direction.
The first two years of my presidency – 2021 and 2022 — were the two strongest years of job growth on record. And in December, the unemployment rate fell to its lowest level in the last 50 years. Unemployment is near record lows for Black and Hispanic Americans, and the unemployment rate for people with disabilities has never been lower in our country’s history. At the same time, average monthly job gains have come down from over 600,000 a month at the end of last year to closer to 200,000 a month. This moderation in job growth is appropriate, and we should expect it to continue in the months ahead, even as we maintain resilience in our labor market recovery.
These historic jobs and unemployment gains are giving workers more power and American families more breathing room. Real wages are up in recent months, gas prices are down, and we are seeing welcome signs that inflation is coming down as well. It’s a good time to be a worker in America.
We have more work to do, and we may face setbacks along the way, but it is clear that my economic strategy of growing the economy from the bottom up and middle out is working. And we are just getting started. This month we are capping the cost of insulin at $35 per month for seniors. We are lowering Americans’ energy and utility bills. And shovels are hitting the ground all around the country to rebuild our infrastructure, supply chains, and manufacturing here at home. That’s how we build an America we all take pride in, where working families have good jobs and more breathing room, and the economy grows from the bottom up and middle out for the long haul.”
2022 U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Year in Review
This year, Secretary Marcia L. Fudge led the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to bold action in pursuit of the agency’s mission to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes. These actions aligned with key Biden-Harris Administration priorities, including easing the burden of housing costs, removing barriers to homeownership, expanding the nation’s housing supply, addressing the nation’s homelessness crisis, and keeping Americans housed.
Below is a sampling of the strides HUD made in 2022:
Expanded Access to Affordable Housing and Connected People to Rental Assistance by:
• Keeping more than one million struggling homeowners in their homes through the Federal Housing Administration’s (FHA) home retention options.
• Distributing more than 100,000 housing vouchers to allow very low-income families to choose and lease safe, decent, and affordable privately-owned rental housing.
Increased Housing Supply Through Building, Preservation, and Innovation by:
• Approving HOME-American Rescue Plan allocation plans that will build 10,000 new deeply affordable and supportive housing units and fund services or rental assistance to serve an additional 13,000 people experiencing or at-risk of homelessness.
• Resolving the backlog of applications submitted for FHA insurance on multifamily mortgages and insuring nearly 160,000 rental units at multifamily properties in fiscal year 2022.
Boosted Wealth-Building and Home Ownership Opportunities for All by:
• Changing FHA’s underwriting policies to allow lenders to use positive rental history in evaluating applicants’ creditworthiness for an FHA-insured mortgage – making it easier for first-time homebuyers to qualify.
• Expanding access to housing counseling so consumers can seek assistance from more than 1,500 HUD-approved housing counseling agencies and the 4,000 HUD-certified housing counselors. Updates to search functionality allows consumers to easily obtain valuable advice on topics such as buying a home, financial planning, foreclosure avoidance, and housing stability.
Ensured Communities Can Prepare for and Recovery from Disaster Equitably by:
• Improving internal and interagency coordination on disaster response and recovery.
• Working with the Government of Puerto Rico to invest in modernization and resiliency of local infrastructure.
Address Homelessness with the Urgency it Requires by:
• Supporting implementation of American Rescue Plan programs, like Emergency Rental Assistance and the enhanced Child Tax Credit, that prevented families from housing loss and homelessness.
• Reduced Veteran homelessness by 11 percent since 2020, the largest decline in Veteran homelessness in more than 5 years.
Made HUD Easier to Navigate So Our Help Reaches Those Who Need It Most by:
• Taking the bold step of revising the Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) template to reflect Secretary Fudge’s commitment to advancing racial equity.
• Launching a first-of-its-kind guide for state, local, and Tribal officials detailing HUD programs, resources, and tools available to support, preserve, and produce affordable homes and to develop thriving neighborhoods where families can enjoy economic security.
Full Fact Sheet here
U.S. Department of Transportation Notices of Funding Opportunity
In order to provide stakeholders with more visibility into upcoming funding opportunities, DOT is publishing a list of anticipated dates for upcoming Notices of Funding Opportunity (NOFOs) for key programs within the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) and the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), as well as adjacent programs that support BIL and IRA objectives.
This list is not comprehensive and will be updated periodically with additional programs and revised dates as appropriate.
FY23 Upcoming NOFO Chart here
Braiding Resources to Develop & Strengthen Partnerships Webinar
The Housing and Services Resource Center (HSRC) is sponsoring a webinar on January 9, 2023, at 2:00 PM EST to discuss how state and local systems can develop lasting cross-sector partnerships to increase access to accessible, affordable housing and supportive services for people with disabilities, older adults, and people at risk of or experiencing homelessness.
Participants will discover:
- Key connection points and approaches for developing partnerships between community living support service providers and rental housing assistance providers
- Steps to identify and align funding and programs to create a comprehensive service and housing system
- Key components of the partnership development
process and lessons learned from other successful models
- Strategies to strengthen and incentivize collaborations over time
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar. The webinar will include real-time captioning and ASL interpreting. If you need any additional accommodations, or if you have questions, please email HSRC@acl.hhs.gov.
Stay up to date on HUD’s Special Needs Assistance Programs (SNAPS) news and updates for grantees and interested stakeholders:
- Sign up for SNAPS Competition Information through HUD.gov
- Sign up for SNAPS Program Information through HUD.gov
Sign up for SNAPS Technical Assistance Information through HUD Exchange
FCC Enforcement Bureau Launches New Robocalls Reporting Portal
On December 20, 2022, the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau announced the opening of a new online portal through which private entities can alert Commission enforcement staff of suspicious robocall, robotext and spoofing campaigns.
Congress directed the FCC to streamline the methods used by private entities to share information with the Commission regarding suspected robocall and spoofing violations, and in response, the FCC adopted rules in June 2021 (linked here) to establish an online web portal where private entities, including small businesses, can voluntarily submit information regarding suspected violations. The portal is available for use by private entities seeking to submit information about suspected robocall or spoofing violations and by private entities whose numbers have been spoofed – complaints from public entities or individual consumers will be transferred to the existing informal consumer complaint process. For example, a private hospital or small business might use the portal to seek support from the FCC in cutting off or taking enforcement action against robocallers flooding their institution’s phone lines with robocalls or spoofing the entity’s legitimate phone number to trick consumers.
To ensure that the Enforcement Bureau can fully investigate suspected activity if it has reason to believe legal violations have occurred, entries submitted via the portal should state detailed information including, but not limited to, entity name, contact information, caller ID information, phone number called, date and time or relevant calls or texts, service provider, and description.
The private entity portal is now available at: https://www.fcc.gov/enforcement/private-entity-robocall-spoofing-portal
FCC Comment Cycle for the Broadband Labeling Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking
On November 17, 2022, the FCC released a Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (Further Notice) that will require broadband Internet access service providers to display easy-to-understand labels to assist consumers when comparison shopping for broadband services.
On December 19, 2022, the FCC released a Public Notice establishing the Further Notice’s comment dates.
The Further Notice seeks comment on issues related to more comprehensive pricing information; bundled plans; label accessibility; performance characteristics; service reliability; cybersecurity; network management and privacy issues; the availability of labels in multiple languages; and whether the labels should be interactive or otherwise formatted differently.
And, specifically with respect to individuals with disabilities, the Further Notice seeks comment on the following:
- Additional ways to improve accessibility of the broadband label, such as video calling services to provide customer service in American Sign Language, irrespective of whether the broadband label information is provided in hard copy or digitally.
- Whether to require Braille or a Quick Response (QR) code with a tactile indicator for blind or visually impaired consumers at the point of sale.
- Whether to mandate any specific WCAG suggestions, sections, and criteria for the broadband label, such as specific sections of WCAG 2.1, which suggests providing text alternatives for any non-text content, or providing definitions of idioms, jargon, and abbreviations.
Interested parties may file comments by accessing the FCC’s Electronic Comment Filing System here. All filings must reference CG Docket No. 22-2. People with disabilities who need assistance to file comments online at https://www.fcc.gov/ecfs/filings may request assistance by email to FCC504@fcc.gov.
Comments are due January 17, 2023. Reply comments are due February 14, 2023.
The Report and Order and Further Notice can be found here.
A summary of the Broadband Labels FNPRM was published in the Federal Register on December 16, 2022.
For general information about broadband labels, visit: https://www.fcc.gov/broadbandlabels
Biden-Harris Administration Resources
ReproductiveRights.Gov for the one-stop shop on resources regarding abortion access, insurance coverage, and your reproductive rights.
COVID.gov for the one-stop shop for COVID resources, including vaccines, tests, treatments and masks.
Whitehouse.gov/BIL to learn more about the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.
Whitehouse.gov/ARP to learn more about how the American Rescue Plan is helping the American people.
Cleanenergy.gov to learn how the Inflation Reduction Act will help American families access cost-saving clean energy resources.