Senate Passes FY19 HUD Funding Bill
The Senate recently passed its Fiscal Year 2019 (FY19) Transportation-HUD spending bill with a 92-6 vote. The $154.2 billion package combined four separate spending bills for FY19, appropriating funding for the Departments of Agriculture, Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Treasury, and the Interior. Overall, the legislation largely rejects the Trump administration’s budget proposal and provides HUD programs with more than $12 billion above the administration’s FY19 request and more than $1 billion above the house bill.
With regard to HUD programs, the bill provides $44.5 billion in total net discretionary spending for HUD programs, a 4 percent increase over FY 2018 levels. HUD highlights from the bill include:
- $1.362 billion for HOME, the same as FY 2018 enacted, and 10 percent higher than what the House Appropriations Committee provided in its FY 2019 bill.
- Extension of HOME’s 24-month commitment deadline suspension through 2021.
- $22.8 billion for Housing Choice Vouchers, which is enough to renew existing vouchers according to the Appropriations Committee. This amount also includes $1.95 billion for administrative fees to cover public housing agencies’ costs of running the voucher program, $197 million more than last year and $407 million more than the administration’s FY 2019 request.
- $11.7 billion to renew all project-based rental assistance contracts, an increase of $632 million over last year. This amount includes $245 million for contract administration.
- $3.3 billion for Community Development Block Grants, equal to FY 2018 funding.
- $2.6 billion for Homeless Assistance Grants, $99 million more than FY 2018 funding, with a focus on serving homeless youth and survivors of domestic violence.
- $678 million to the Section 202 Housing for the Elderly program, equal to FY 2018 funding, including $51 million set aside for capital advance and project-based rental assistance awards, and $10 million for home modification grants to help low-income seniors age in place.
In addition, the Senate approved by voice vote the following amendments to the HUD funding bill:
- Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) introduced an amendment that would direct HUD to ensure property owners cannot unlawfully evict or deny housing to people based on their status as survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault;
- Senator Gary Peters (D-MI) introduced an amendment that requires HUD and the Environmental Protection Agency to report on efforts related to the removal of lead-based paint and other hazardous materials; and
- Senator Dean Heller (R-NV) introduced an amendment that would prohibit people charged with certain crimes from receiving housing assistance.