Will the President veto the HUD budget?

With a likely veto of HUD’s 2008 Budget likely in the next few weeks it may be helpful to review the approaching conflict.

According to congressional sources, Rep. Jeb Hensarling of Texas, chairman of the conservative Republican Study Committee has collected signatures of 147 House Republicans, one more than needed, pledging to sustain money bill vetoes, and the number may be growing.This covers all budget bills including HUD. For more details click here.  To read an article in this issue of Affordable Housing Finance click here.

On July 23, 2007 the White House expressed strong reservations about HUD’s Budget as approved by the House. On September 11, 2007 they issued a similar warning about the Senate version.

“The Administration objects to the $1 billion increase for the CDBG program through a formula that is long outdated and, in many cases, provides more money to wealthier communities than poorer ones.

The bill exceeds the request for HUD programs by more than $3.5 billion. The President’s Budget provides increases for high-performing and high-priority programs, ensures effective implementation of HUD programs, and reduces funds for lower performing programs.

The Administration also opposes the unreasonably high amount of new section 202 and 811 housing unit construction in the bill, which simultaneously reduces resources dedicated to tenant services, threatens future preservation, and exacerbates a large and growing fiscal responsibility.”

The decrease in Section 811 required to meet the President’s recommendations would be from $237 million to $125 million dollars. The new amount of $125 million dollars is almost identical to the total funding approved for FY 2007 of $124.8 million. Thus, if the reduction is approved there would be no funds for new Section 811 housing.

The Section 202 program would be reduced to $518.9 to meet the President’s budget. Funding for FY 2007 equaled $575 million dollars. Congress approved a budget of $735 million.

To view a chart of the HUD budget by program click here.