Attempts to Maintain Increase Rental Housing Resources
On March 4, 2014, President Barak Obama sent his fiscal year 2015 (FY15) budget request to Congress. The request includes strong funding for some rental housing programs, despite the tight spending caps set by Congress.
The President’s budget request includes $1 billion in mandatory funding for the National Housing Trust Fund (NHTF), which the Administration anticipates would create 16,000 units affordable to extremely low income households. President Obama continues to show his support for the NHTF by including this funding request to Congress, as he has in each of his budget requests. HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan called the $1 billion a down payment for the NHTF, whose future funding is being debated in the context of housing finance reform.
On the discretionary side of the budget, the President’s budget request would maintain assistance for extremely low income households currently served by HUD’s main rental housing programs, provide slight funding increases for a number of HUD programs, and decrease funding for certain critical housing production and other programs.
The President proposes restoring tenant-based Section 8 vouchers that were lost due to sequestration, in addition to maintaining all tenancies in 2014. It is unclear whether the amount of funding proposed would be sufficient to restore a substantial portion of the tens of thousands of vouchers lost due to sequestration.
The Homeless Assistance account would be increased to maintain the current housing and services provided by the Emergency Solutions Grant and Continuum of Care programs and attempt to make further progress on decreasing homelessness.