FY 2016 Omnibus Spending Bill Enacted
On Dec. 18, President Obama signed the FY 2016 omnibus spending bill into law. The bill covered all 12 appropriations bills, including funding for Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies (THUD). The Senate adopted the bill by a vote of 65-33; the House did so by a 316-113 tally.
After being threatened with near elimination in the Senate Committee’s THUD bill and with a $133 million cut in the House bill, HOME was funded at $950 million in the omnibus, a $50 million increase from FY 2015.
Overall, the legislation provides $38.6 billion for HUD programs, an increase of $3 billion over FY 2015 funding. However, lower Federal Housing Administration receipts compared to prior years mean that the law actually provides only $1.9 billion more than FY 2015. Other housing program funding details include:
- $19.63 billion for Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers. This includes $17.68 billion for voucher renewals, which appropriators say is enough to renew all existing vouchers and $60 million for Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (VASH) vouchers.
- $10.62 billion for project-based rental assistance contracts, compared to $9.73 billion in the FY 2015 appropriation.
- $2.25 billion for HUD’s Homeless Assistance Grants, which represents $115 million more than in FY 2015 but $230 million less than the administration’s FY 2016 request.
- $3 billion for Community Development Block Grants (CDBG), the same as FY 2015-enacted levels and $120 million more than the administration’s FY 2016 request.
- $151 million for Section 811 Housing for Persons with Disabilities to maintain existing Section 811 units. This is a 12 percent increase over FY 2015 funding and $14 million more than the Senate Appropriations Committee-passed FY 2016 funding bill. The bill explicitly prohibits the use of these funds for any new development.
- $433 million for Section 202 Housing for the Elderly, almost $13 million more than in FY 2015.
- Expansion of the Moving to Work (MTW) demonstration to another 100 high-performing PHAs over seven years. The Senate Committee’s THUD bill would have increased the MTW demonstration from the current 39 PHAs to an additional 300 agencies, with almost no reforms or improvements to the controversial program. For the existing 39 MTW agencies, the HUD secretary is required to extend current MTW agreements until the end of each agency’s fiscal year 2028 under current agreement terms “except for any changes to such terms and conditions otherwise mutually agreed upon by the Secretary and any such agency.”
- $39.2 million for the Fair Housing Initiatives Program, compared to $40 million in FY 2015, providing level funding for the Fair Housing Assistance program at $24 million.
- $5 million increase to the Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS program to $335 million, and level funding of HUD’s Office of Healthy Homes and Lead Hazard Control at $110 million, which the House bill would have cut to $75 million.