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Senate Mark Up, But Tough Road for Housing Funding Ahead

Posted on 24. Apr, 2012 by

US CapitolAt the end of last week, the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee, including Louisiana Senator Mary Landrieu, passed the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (THUD) Subcommittee’s 2013 appropriations bill.  Despite an allocation to the Subcommittee at levels below FY 2012, housing received $34.96 billion, an increase of $1.4 billion above the President’s FY 2013 request (due to offsets in receipts from Ginnie Mae and FHA).

While that may seem like great news for housing advocates nationwide, the Senate bill faces a tough road ahead: because the House version, expected later this week, will reflect close to $30 billion less in discretionary spending, resolution of differences between House and Senate versions could prove extremely difficult.

A quick breakdown of the bill includes:

Fair Housing Initiatives Program (FHIP):  funding of $42.5 million, level with FY 2012.   These funds are essential to funding enforcement of the Fair Housing Act for agencies such as GNOFHAC.

Fair Housing Assistance Program (FHAP):  funding of $24.1 million, below FY 2012 as enacted.  FHAP funds are used by state and local agencies to enforce the Fair Housing Act.

Section 8:  funding of $482 million above FY 2012 enacted level, due to annual increases in the cost of maintaining Section 8 (in the same way that the cost of living for most individual households increases each year).  In other words, funded at this level the Section 8 program wouldn’t expand, but it would be maintained.

Public Housing: An increase of $110 million above the FY 2012 enacted level.  Because FY 2012 required public housing authorities to use their reserves to fund operations and those reserves have now spent down, the increase simply maintains current operations (again, without expanding the number of units available).

Project-based rental assistance: $9.8 billion for the project-based section 8 program, including funding for the renewal of all project-based contracts for 12 months.  This amount is crucial just to maintain assistance at current levels.

Homeless Assistance grants: $2.15 billion for homeless assistance grants. In response to the increase in family homelessness, the bill includes at least $286 million for the Emergency Solutions Grant program to prevent families from becoming homeless, or rapidly re-house those that are homeless.

Community Development Block Grants (CDBG): $3.1 billion for CDBG funding, or $152 million above FY 2012 as enacted, to assist States and communities nationwide.  CDBG funds are used for many different purposes at the local level, including economic development and other projects essential to maintaining City and State infrastructure.

HOME Investment Partnership: Level funding of $1 billion from FY 2012 as enacted.  HOME funds have enabled cities like New Orleans to increase its affordable housing stock for low and moderate income residents.

Housing Counseling: A total of $135 million nationwide for housing counseling efforts.  HUD approved housing counselors, like those in GNOFHAC’s Homeownership Protection Program, help homeowners avoid foreclosure and stay in their homes.

2 Responses to “Senate Mark Up, But Tough Road for Housing Funding Ahead”

  1. Monika Gerhart 8 June 2012 at 1:36 pm #

    Good news in the U.S. House yesterday as the Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Affairs (T-HUD) marked up their spending bill at pretty good levels— came in a little bit lower than FY 12, but above the President’s FY 13 budget request for all HUD programs.

    • Monika Gerhart 21 June 2012 at 7:27 pm #

      Great update from our friends at the National Fair Housing Alliance!

      This week, the House Appropriations Committee voted on their HUD budget for FY 2013.

      We are happy to report that even in this tight fiscal climate, Fair Housing Initiatives Program (FHIP) was passed out of the House Appropriations Committee at $42.5 million, level with FY 2012.

      We are also happy to report increases in the House for CDBG and HOME. The House subcommittee increased CDBG funding to $3.4 billion – above the President’s request and the Senate Appropriations Committee allocation by $496 and $344 million respectively. HOME received an allocation of $1.2 billion, $200 million more than the President’s request and the Senate Appropriations Committee’s bill.

      As of now, it is still unclear when the House and Senate will reconcile the differences between their two bills, but it’s looking increasingly likely that it won’t be until after the elections.

      Please stay tuned for more information and action alerts on when the House and Senate will vote to pass the HUD budget for FY 2013, and thank you so much to all our members who reached out to their Representatives. The fair housing community has been heard loud and clear!

      Status of Selected HUD Program Funding (in millions)

      Program FY10 FY11 FY12 FY13 President’s Request FY 13 Senate
      Appropriations Committee
      FY13 House
      FHIP $42.5 $42.4 $42.5 $41.1 $42.5 $42.5
      FHAP $29.5 $29.4 $28.4 $26.4 $25.6 $25.2

      HOME $1,825 $1,607 $1,000 $1,000 $1,000 $1,200
      CDBG $3,990 $3,336 $2,948 $2.948 $3,100 $3,444
      HUD Housing Counseling $97.5 0 $45 $55 $55 $45