House Provides Mostly Flat Funding for Housing in FY 2019 Appropriations
House Appropriators are moving forward with their fiscal year (FY) 2019 spending bills. The full Appropriations Committee approved the FY 2019 Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development (THUD) Bill yesterday, while the Agriculture Subcommittee, which funds rural housing programs, and the Financial Services and General Government (FSGG) Subcommittee, which funds the Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund, both approved their bills this morning and sent them to the full committee for a markup. After the significant wins for housing and community development in the FY 2018 Omnibus, House Appropriators provide mostly level funding for slightly reduced funding for housing programs in their FY 2019 spending bills.
For more information on House funding levels, see Enterprise's updated appropriations chart.
Housing and Urban Development
The House Appropriations Committee voted 34-17 to approve their Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development Appropriations Bill, sending it the full House for a floor vote. The bill provides $43.6 billion in net discretionary funding for the Department of Housing and Urban Development (THUD), which represents a $941 million increase above FY 2018 enacted levels. Included in the bill:
- Increased funding for Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers, providing $22.476 billion, a $455 million increase over FY 2018 enacted levels. This includes $20.107 billion for Voucher Renewals, $85 million for Tenant Protection Vouchers, $40 million for HUD-VASH Vouchers, and $390 million for Section 811 Mainstream Vouchers. House Appropriators also include $50 million for a new family mobility demonstration that would allow families living in HUD-supported housing to move to lower-poverty, higher-opportunity areas. While the bill provides funding for new vouchers, the funding level for Voucher Renewals only covers an estimated 97.8% of funding needed to renew all vouchers, which represents approximately 49,000 vouchers in use that would not receive renewal funding in 2019. The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities estimates that Congress needs to appropriate $20.5 billion for Voucher Renewals to fund all existing contracts.
- Increased funding for Project Based Rental Assistance (PBRA) at $11.747 billion up from $11.515 billion in FY 2018. This amount would be enough to fully fund all renewals.
- Level funding for the Public Housing Capital Fund at $2.75 billion and the Public Housing Operating Fund at $4.5 billion.
- Level funding for the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program at $3.3 billion.
- Reduced funding for the HOME Investment Partnerships Program at $1.2 billion, which represents a $162 million cut from FY 2018 levels. The FY 2018 Omnibus funded the HOME Program at $1.362 billion, which was the a first step in years at restoring funding for the flexible housing grant program. The bill also extends the 24-month commitment deadline suspension through 2021 and extends the suspension to Community Housing Development Organizations (CHDOs) for funds allocated in 2018-2021.
- Level funding for the Section 4 Capacity Building for Affordable Housing and Community Development Program at $35 million.
- Slightly increased funding for Homeless Assistance Grants at $2.546 billion, up from $2.513 billion in FY 2018.
- Level funding for the Family Self-Sufficiency Program at $75 million.
- Level funding for the Choice Neighborhoods Initiative Program at $150 million
- Increased funding for Housing for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA) at $393 million, up from $375 million in FY 2018.
- Level funding for Section 202 Housing for the Elderly at $678 million. During the markup, the Committee approved an amendment that would increase funding for Section 202 Housing for the Elderly by $46 million to $678 million, even with FY 2018 enacted levels.
- Reduced funding for Section 811 Housing for Persons with Disabilities at $154 million, down from $229 million in FY 2018.
- Increased funding for the Neighborhood Reinvestment Corporation (NeighborWorks) at $150 million, up from $140 million in FY 2018.
- Level funding for continued operations of the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness at $3.6 million.
During the full committee markup, Ranking Member Price introduced an amendment that would have topped up funding levels for a number of housing programs, including the HOME Program. Although this amendment failed to be adopted in the version of the bill that passed out Committee, Enterprise appreciates the Appropriators who voiced support for increased investments in our nation's affordable housing infrastructure.
USDA Rural Housing Service
The House Appropriations Agriculture Subcommittee's FY 2019 spending bill provided level or reduced funding for most rural housing programs at USDA's Rural Housing Service, including:
- Level funding for Section 515 Rental Housing Direct Loans at $40 million and a decrease for the Section 515 Rental Housing Loan Subsidy to $9.484 million, down from $10.524 million in FY 2018.
- Reduced funding for Section 521 Rental Assistance at $1.331 billion, down from $1.345 billion in FY 2018.
Department of Treasury
The House Appropriations Financial Services and General Government (FSGG) Subcommittee provided reduced funding for the Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund at $191 million, down from $250 million in the FY 2018 omnibus.
Senate Appropriators will markup their FY 2019 THUD bill the week of June 4. We look forward to engaging with Senate Appropriators to ensure necessary investments in our affordable housing infrastructure.
Check back with Enterprise's blog for more analysis on the FY 2019 appropriations process.