NAHRO has learned that the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has enough money to ensure that February payments for the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program and the public housing Operating Fund will be made available to public housing authorities (PHAs). HUD intends to make those payments on time. NAHRO has also learned that there is not currently enough money to make HCV and Operating Fund payments for March, if the government shutdown continues until then.
In order to end the government shutdown, Congress must agree to a funding bill. Now is the time to reach out to your Congresspeople and demand that a fiscal year 2019 appropriations bill for HUD is passed. NAHRO has prepared a letter that can be sent to your Congressional members through the NAHRO Advocacy Action Center.
As PHAs make their voices heard to Congress, NAHRO will continue to fight for you and the families you serve and will continue to inform members as soon as we learn more.
On May 15, the House Appropriations Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (T-HUD) Subcommittee released its draft FY 2019 appropriations bill. Overall, the bill received an additional $1.5 billion increase to its allocation compared to FY 2018, an achievement considering several spending bills have been level funded and T-HUD was expected to have a similar fate. A summary is below; NAHRO will release a more detailed analysis soon.
The FY 2018 omnibus bill marked the first significant increase to HUD funding in nearly a decade; NAHRO and its members should be proud that the House bill preserves many of those funding increases in a highly competitive appropriations season.
Most programs within HUD received level funding or a slight increase, with the unfortunate exception of the HOME Investment Partnerships program. HOME was cut by 12 percent compared to FY 2018.
- Public Housing Capital Fund: $2.75 billion, level funding – including a new $30 million set-aside for competitive grants for the demolition of the most distressed public housing units
- Public Housing Operating Fund: $4.55 billion, level funding
- Choice Neighborhoods:$150 million, level funding
- Section 8 Housing Assistance Payment Renewals:$20.107 billion, a 2.6 percent increase
- Mobility Demonstration: $50 million for a new mobility demonstration program
- Ongoing Administrative Fees: $1.73 billion, level funding
- Family Self-Sufficiency: $75 million, level funding
- Section 8 Project-Based Rental Assistance: $11.747 billion, a 2 percent increase
- Community Development Block Grant:$3.3 billion, level funding
- HOME Investment Partnerships:$1.2 billion, a 12 percent decrease
- Housing Opportunity for Persons with AIDS:$393 million, a 5 percent increase
- Homeless Assistance Grants:$2.546 billion, a 1 percent increase
As the FY 2019 appropriations process moves forward, NAHRO will focus advocacy efforts on the HOME program to ensure that the cuts proposed by the House are not enacted. NAHRO will also advocate for increased funding and flexibility for HCV Administrative Fee funds as level funding does not take into account the addition of new vouchers and the increased need for resident opportunity resources.
The bill will be brought before the House T-HUD Subcommittee on May 16 for consideration. No amendments are expected. It’s likely that the full House Appropriations Committee will vote on the bill next week. The timeline for a floor vote is unclear, though Congress typically tries to move as many bills through the process as possible before the August recess.
The Senate T-HUD bill is expected to be considered before the Senate T-HUD Subcommittee during the week of June 4.