March 22, 2018

Congress Releases Omnibus Bill with Significant Increases for Affordable Housing

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Last night Congress released the text of its fiscal year (FY) 2018 omnibus spending package with significant increases for affordable housing and community development programs.

Low-Income Housing Tax Credit

  • A 12.5 percent increase in Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (Housing Credit) allocation for four years (2018-2021), and
  • A new permanent provision on income averaging, which would allow Housing Credit units to be affordable at up to 80 percent of area median income (AMI), offset by deeper targeting in other units to maintain average affordability in the project at 60 percent AMI.

For more information about the Housing Credit, see Enterprise’s blog on expanding and strengthening the Housing Credit and the ACTION Campaign’s blog post on the FY 2018 omnibus.

HUD Programs

The omnibus provides $42.7 billion in funding for HUD, a 10 percent increase over FY 2017. Some highlights include:

  • HOME Investment Partnerships Program is funded at $1.36 billion, up from $950 million in FY 2017, which represents the highest funding HOME has seen in seven years.
  • Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) is funded at $3.3 billion, up from $3 billion in FY 2017.
  • Section 4 Capacity Building Program (Section 4) is funded at $35 million, level with FY 2017.
  • Project-Based Rental Assistance (PBRA) is funded at $11.5 billion, up from $10.8 billion in FY 2017.
  • Tenant-Based Rental Assistance (TBRA) is funded at $22.015 billion, an increase of $1.72 billion above FY 2017.
  • Public Housing Operating Fund is funded at $4.55 billion, up from $4.4 billion in FY 2017.
  • Public Housing Capital Fund is funded at $2.75 billion, an increase of $810 million over FY 2017.
  • Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) cap raised to 455,000 units,up from 225,000 units. RAD authority is also extended to the Project Rental Assistance Contract (PRAC) inventory, allowing roughly 120,000 units of senior housing to be preserved. 

CDFI Fund

  • Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund is funded at $250 million, up from $248 million in FY 2017.

USDA Rural Housing Service

  • Section 515 Rental Housing Direct Loans funded at $40 million, up from $35 million in FY 2017
  • Section 521 Rental Assistance is funded at $1.345 billion, down from $1.405 billion in FY 2017

For more information about funding for these programs, see Enterprise’s blog post on the FY 2018 omnibus and updated appropriations chart.

Enterprise president and CEO Terri Ludwig released the following statement about the omnibus bill: “Millions of families across the country continue to struggle to find well-designed, affordable homes that are connected to opportunity. I am thrilled to see leaders in Washington, DC, devote additional resources to affordable housing and community development programs. The expansion of and flexibility provided to the Housing Credit, as well as the increased funding for critical HUD and USDA programs, will be significant in addressing the vast and growing needs nationwide.”

The provisions included in the omnibus reflect the tireless efforts of countless advocates who have spent years cultivating bipartisan support for these critical affordable housing programs. Enterprise is proud to have worked with several coalitions that played an instrumental role in advocating for these resources, including co-chairing the ACTION Campaign, a national coalition of more than 2,100 organizations advocating in support of the Housing Credit, serving on the board of the Affordable Housing Tax Credit Coalition (AHTCC), and participating in the HOME Coalition and the Coalition for Housing and Community Development Funding (CHCDF).

Thank you to everyone who helped achieve these additional resources. Enterprise looks forward to continued engagement with our partners, local advocates, and elected officials to support increased resources for affordable housing and community development.