August 1, 2017

Senate Appropriations Committee Approves FY18 THUD Spending Legislation

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Last week the Senate Appropriations Committee unanimously passed the Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (THUD) Appropriations Bill. The vote came as organizations and residents across the country held over 60 events to advocate for increased affordable housing investments as part of the National Housing Week of Action, which followed many months of concerted advocacy aimed at building support for affordable housing programs among Members of Congress.    

The Senate bill provides $40.244 billion in net discretionary funding for HUD, an increase of $1.4 billion over FY17 and nearly $2 billion above the FY18 House THUD bill.  Senate appropriators used the FY17 non-defense discretionary (NDD) spending level to mark-up their legislation, resulting in a higher THUD allocation than House appropriators who capped NDD spending at $511 billion. 

THUD Subcommittee Chairwoman Susan Collins (R-ME) stated “this bipartisan bill…helps to meet housing needs of the most vulnerable among us, and provides funding for economic development projects that create jobs in our communities.” The Senate bill increases investments in rental assistance, public housing, housing for the elderly, and people with disabilities, as well as programs targeted towards combatting homelessness. It also provides level funding for community development programs compared to this year, indicating that appropriators have heard from advocates and constituents that housing is a nationwide priority.

The Senate provides funding at the following levels:

  • HOME received $950 million, CDBG received $3 billion, and Section 4 Capacity Building received $35 million—all level-funded compared to FY17. These allocations are all slightly higher than the House bill, which funds HOME and CDBG each $100 million below the Senate mark, and Section 4 at $30 million.
  • Tenant-Based Rental Assistance received $21.365 billion, a $1.1 billion increase above FY17 levels and $878 million over the FY18 House bill. Of this, $19.37 billion goes towards TBRA Contract Renewals.
  • Project-Based Rental Assistance received $11.5 billion, a $691 million increase above FY17 levels and $420 million more than the House bill.
  • The Public Housing Capital Fund received $1.945 billion, $8 million above FY17 levels and $95 million more than the House bill, and the Public Housing Operating Fund received $4.5 billion, $100 million above FY17 levels and the House bill.
  • Homeless Assistance Grants received $2.456 billion, $73 million above FY17 and the House bill.
  • Choice Neighborhoods Initiative, funded at $50 million, an $88 million cut below FY17, was one of several programs that received decreases in the Senate bill. Other decreases in funding include a $26 million decrease to Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA), down to $330 million from $356 million in FY17. The House bill also provided $330 million for HOPWA. 
  • Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction received $160 million, a $15 million increase above FY17 and $30 million above the House bill.
  • The Neighborhood Reinvestment Corporation (NeighborWorks America) received flat-funding at $140 million, the same as in the House.

Like the House, the Senate legislation rejects the Administration’s policy proposals to increase rent payments and housing costs for subsidized housing residents, as well as the proposal to eliminate the Housing Trust Fund, which is not funded by appropriations but rather through the government-sponsored enterprises (GSE) Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

While the THUD bill has now passed through the full appropriations committee in both chambers, it has not yet been brought to the House or Senate floor for consideration. In order for the final legislation to include the Senate numbers, Congress would need to increase the budget caps on discretionary spending in FY18, which will require the House and Senate to approve a concurrent budget resolution for FY18. If Congress is unable to come to an agreement that raises the caps, then appropriations bills including THUD would face the $516 billion domestic discretionary cap set by the Budget Control Act of 2011.

Now is the time to contact your Members of Congress and urge them to raise the spending caps and make the investments necessary for families and communities to thrive. Nearly 3,500 organizations signed a letter from the Campaign for Housing and Community Development Funding (CHCDF) urging Congress to raise the spending caps to increase investments in housing and community development. Read the letter for more information. Read the letter for more information.

For more information, see Enterprise’s blog posts on the President’s Budget Request, the House THUD bill, as well as our updated FY18 budget chart. You can also continue following the FY18 appropriations process by signing up for Community Developments, Enterprise’s daily email providing a quick overview of affordable housing and community development news, and Capitol Express, our more in-depth biweekly newsletter.