Senate Appropriations Committee Advances FY2020 HUD Bill
The budget agreement signed into law on Aug. 2 by President Trump raised defense and nondefense discretionary spending caps for fiscal years 2020 and 2021. The deal allows for, but doesn’t accomplish on its own, enactment of this year's FY20 appropriations bills. Before the new spending caps were established, the House passed several of its FY20 bills, including those that fund HUD. The House HUD appropriations bill passed the House on June 25.
The Senate Appropriations Committee recently approved unanimously the FY20 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (THUD) funding bill, which provides $48.6 billion in total net discretionary spending for HUD programs. The Senate Appropriations Committee-passed HUD bill is also $1.5 billion less than the House-passed version that was written to higher spending caps.
The Senate Appropriations Committee-passed bill level-funds most HUD programs, including the HOME Investment Partnerships Program (HOME), and provides enough tenant- and project-based rental assistance to renew existing contracts. HUD bill highlights include:
- $1.25 billion for the HOME Investment Partnership Program, level with FY19 enacted numbers and $500 million below the House’s proposal.
- $12.56 billion for Project-Based Rental Assistance, $813 million over FY19 and $30 million below the House’s bill. The Committee says this is sufficient to renew all existing contracts and sets aside $345 million for PBCAs.
- $23.83 billion for Housing Choice Vouchers, $1.235 billion over FY19 and $23 million over the House’s bill. The Subcommittee says this funding level is sufficient to renew all existing vouchers and sets aside $1.97 billion for administrative fees.
- $2.76 billion for Homelessness Assistance grants, $125 million more than in FY19.
- $3.3 billion for Community Development Block Grants (CDBG), level with FY19 enacted numbers and $300 million below the House’s proposal. The CDBG account also includes an additional $25 million for a pilot program providing supportive housing for persons recovering from substance abuse, as authorized in the 2018 SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act.
- $40 million for new HUD-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing vouchers, the same as in FY19.
- $20 million for new Family Unification Vouchers, the same as in FY 2019.
- $696 million for Section 202 Housing for the Elderly, $18 million more than in FY19.
- $184 million for Section 811 Housing for Persons with Disabilities, the same as in FY19.
- $330 million for the Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS program, $63 million less than in FY19.
It’s very unlikely that the appropriations bills will be enacted by the Oct. 1 start of the new fiscal year. Congress must still reconcile the House and Senate FY20 bills to meet the discretionary spending limit agreed to in the recently approved budget deal, which the Senate bills abide by and the House-passed versions exceed by $15 billion. Congress will have more time to do this after the House and Senate pass a continuing resolution (CR), or stopgap measure, funding the federal government to Nov. 21. CRs keep government programs running, but at funding levels equal to the previous fiscal year. For housing programs, a CR of any length can prove disruptive to payments to communities.