On June 27, the House and Senate Appropriations Committees approved their respective fiscal year (FY) 2014 spending bills for the Transportation, Housing, & Urban Development, and Related Agencies (THUD) Subcommittee.
Funding in the FY 2014 House THUD subcommittee bill decreased to $44.1 billion from $51.6 billion in FY 2013, resulting in severe proposed spending cuts to nearly all affordable housing and community development programs.
However, the Senate THUD bill fared significantly better than its House counterpart, as proposed THUD program funding increased to $54.5 billion in FY 2014 from $53.4 in FY 2013. The bill still falls short of the President’s budget request for many HUD programs. Funding levels include:
Vouchers (Tenant Based Rental Assistance) would be funded at $19.6 million including $17.6 for contract renewals. This is $300 million less than the President’s budget request, but nearly $1 billion more than the House Committee bill. Contract renewals would be funded at $300 million less than the President’s request, but $600 million higher than the House bill. The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities reports that 140,000 vouchers would be lost due to sequestration. If Congress does not deliberately fund voucher contract renewals based on the number of vouchers in use prior to sequestration, these vouchers would be lost permanently. The Senate bill would not provide the full amount of funding that is necessary to maintain all vouchers in use prior to sequestration according to the Administration, but the bill would preserve a large number of vouchers that would otherwise be lost by sequestration.
$75 million in funding for 10,000 new Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (VASH) vouchers.
Project Based Rental Assistance (PBRA) would be funded at $10.8 billion, $500 million above the President’s request and $1.4 billion above the House request. HUD has said that the program would need up to $11.4 billion in FY14 in order to fund all contracts for a full year.
Public Housing would be funded at $2 billion for the Capital Fund and $4.6 billion for the Operating Fund. The Senate would meet the President’s request for the Capital Fund, increasing the account by more than $200 above the FY13 post-sequestration funding level, and providing $500 million more than the House bill. The Senate bill would also meet the President’s request for the Operating Fund, but still falls short of the amount needed for operating expenses in FY14. The Senate bill would provide more than $300 million more in operating funding that would the House bill.
Increased funding for the Homeless Assistance Grants, providing $2.26 billion in FY14, exceed the House increase by nearly $200 million, but falling short of the President’s request by more than $100 million.
HOME would be funded at $1 billion, $50 million higher than the President’s request, $300 million higher than the House, and level with the FY13 pre-sequestration funding level.
CDBG would be funded at $3.15 billion, a level close to what was provided in FY11. The Senate’s bill would increase funding by $350 over the President’s request and $1.5 billion over the House bill.
Neither the House nor the Senate are expected to pass all of their 12 appropriations bills by the start of the fiscal year and (October 1, 2013) and instead are expected to pass a Continuing Resolution while negotiating top line and bill level spending amounts for FY14.