Senate Continues Trends from 2018 in FY19 THUD Appropriations Bill
Today the Senate Appropriations Committee unanimously approved its Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development (THUD) Appropriations Bill. The Senate THUD bill maintains the funding increases realized in the FY 2018 omnibus and continues the trend towards restoring funding for essential housing and community development programs. The bill provides $44.5 billion in net discretionary funding for the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), which represents an increase of $1.8 billion above FY 2018 levels and $900 million above the House's FY 2019 bill.
Department of Housing and Urban Development
The Senate THUD bill would provide an overall funding increase to HUD but does include some level funding and modest cuts. The bill would:
- Increase funding for Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers to $22.8 billion, which represents an $800 million increase over FY 2018 levels and $325 million above the House bill. The Senate provides $20.5 billion for Voucher Renewals, which is the amount needed to fully renew all existing contracts.
- Increase funding for the Public Housing Capital Fund to $2.775 billion, an increase of $25 million over FY 2018 levels and the House bill, as well as the Public Housing Operating Fund to $4.756 billion, an increase of $206 million over FY 2018 levels and the House bill.
- Increase funding for Project-Based Rental Assistance (PBRA) to $11.747 billion, which is level with the House bill and $800 million above FY 2018 levels. We expect that the Senate and House provide enough to renew all existing PBRA contracts.
- Level fund the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program at $3.3 billion, same as the House bill.
- Level fund the HOME Investment Partnerships Program at $1.362 billion, which is $162 million above the House bill.
- The Committee Report notes: "HOME continues to play a crucial role in the creation of new affordable housing and is more critical than ever given the lack of affordable housing in communities across the country. This past year, the program's ability to leverage outside funding has far exceeded its historical average: while in the past, a dollar of HOME money has attracted an additional $4.32, this rose to an average of $5.67 in fiscal year 2017...the program's impressive ability to attract private capital reflects the central importance it plays in facilitating public-private housing development partnerships...the Committee supports innovative projects that combine public and private capital, but recognizes that without a public commitment to programs like HOME, the private sector has little incentive to participate in public-private affordable housing partnerships."
- Level fund the Section 4 Capacity Building Program at $35 million, same as the House bill.
- Level fund Section 202 Housing for the Elderly at $678 million, same as the House bill.
- Increase funding for the Office of Lead Hazard Control and Healthy Homes to $260 million, an increase of $30 million over FY 2018 levels and the House bill.
The Senate THUD bill would increase funding for the Neighborhood Reinvestment Corporation (NeighborWorks America) to $147 million, an increase of $7 million over FY 2018 levels but $3 million below the House bill.
For more information on funding levels, see Enterprise's updated budget and appropriations chart.
The spending bill will now head to the full Senate for a floor vote, but the timing of when a vote will occur is unclear. Congress has until the end of the fiscal year in September to pass their spending bills, or pass a Continuing Resolution to the fund the government on a short-term basis.
Check back to Enterprise's blog for more news and analysis on the appropriations process.