President Signs Legislation to Finance HUD for FY 2014
On Jan. 17, President Obama signed a $1.1 trillion bill to finance the U.S. government through Sept. 30. The FY 2014 Consolidated Appropriations Act (H.R. 3547) is an omnibus spending bill that packages several appropriation bills together in one larger bill. It sets the final appropriations levels and funds all federally funded agencies, including HUD, through the end of FY 2014.
The legislation includes a total of $32.8 billion for HUD, a decrease of $687 million below the FY 2013 enacted level. The act doesn’t contain funding for any new, unauthorized “sustainable,” “livable,” or “green” community development programs, and includes provisions to streamline and reduce the costs of housing voucher programs to save taxpayer dollars.
Section 8 and Public Housing. Included in the act is $26.3 billion for Public and Indian Housing. This is an increase of $411 million above the FY 2013 enacted level, and is $1.5 billion below the president’s request. Within this total, $19.2 billion is for the voucher program. This amount includes $17.4 billion for voucher renewals and $1.5 billion for administrative fees. It also includes $75 million for new HUD-VASH vouchers. The bill includes as a separate account $75 million for family self-sufficiency (FSS) coordinators.
The act also includes language allowing for biennial, instead of annual, inspections of units occupied by tenants receiving voucher assistance. It allows inspections conducted for other housing programs, such as HOME or the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit, to qualify as alternative inspection methods.
In addition, the act modifies utility allowances to limit the allowance amount for tenant-paid utilities to no more than the appropriate utility allowance for the family unit size as determined by the public housing authority (PHA), regardless of the size of the actual unit leased by the family. It requires a PHA to approve a higher utility allowance request for a family that includes an individual with disabilities, if needed as a reasonable accommodation.
Housing programs. Housing programs are funded at $10.5 billion, $561 million above FY 2013’s enacted level and $381 million below the president’s request. Within this total, the act provides $126 million for housing for the disabled and $383.5 million for housing for the elderly.
Community Planning and Development. The act contains $6.6 billion for Community Planning and Development programs–a cut of $145 million below last year’s level. The Community Development Block Grant formula program is funded at slightly over $3 billion, $82 million above the FY 2013 enacted level.