Senate Passes FY20 Spending Package with Increases for Affordable Housing
By a vote of 84-9, the Senate recently approved its fiscal year 2020 (FY20) HUD appropriations bill. The House passed its HUD FY20 appropriations bill in June. And now, with the passage of the Senate bill, the two bills must be reconciled before a final spending bill to ensure continued funding for federal programs can be enacted. House and Senate Appropriations Committees must agree on spending limits for each of the 12 subcommittees, including the one that funds HUD.
The House spending package provides modest funding increases for affordable housing programs and did not incorporate President Trump’s call for deep cuts to affordable housing investments. However, the Senate bill does not match increases included in the House bill, which was passed prior to a budget agreement on overall spending levels.
The Senate’s bill has about $34 billion less in overall spending, across all the appropriations subcommittees, than the House bill does. The Senate’s HUD appropriations bill, which also includes funding for the Department of Transportation, is $5 billion below the House’s Transportation-HUD bill for FY20.
Overall, the Senate bill provides HUD programs with more than $11.9 billion above the president’s FY20 request and $2.3 billion above FY19 enacted levels. This amount is likely sufficient to renew all existing rental assistance contracts and to provide level funding or modest increases to most other programs. The bill does include cuts to some programs, including Choice Neighborhoods, Housing for Persons with AIDS, Indian Housing Block Grants, and Community Development Block Grants.
The Senate bill doesn’t include provisions approved by the House that would stop some of the controversial Trump administration proposals. The House bill contains language that would prevent HUD from implementing its “mixed-status” immigrant-family rule and would stop HUD from rolling back protections for LGBTQ+ people, including the agency’s Equal Access rule ensuring transgender people have access to emergency shelters and other facilities that match their gender identity