Senate Housing Bill Improves on House

Still Risks Locking in Large Voucher Losses

Douglas RiceOn June 3, 2014, the U.S. Senate passed its Transportation and Housing and Urban Development (THUD) bill out of subcommittee. The Senate bill makes some significant improvements over the House version.

But the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP)’s Doug Rice has written a blog post, “Senate Housing Bill Improves on House But Still Risk Locking in Large Voucher Losses,” which highlights where the Senate’s bill falls short.

The Senate Appropriations Committee set better priorities, allocating $2.4 billion more for the Transportation-HUD bill than the House did. Among the Senate bill’s key areas of improvement over the House bill are:

  • $2.15 billion for homeless assistance grants, $40 million above the House bill and the 2014 level but it makes little progress to end homelessness
  • $950 million for the HOME Investment Partnerships program, which helps states and localities develop and preserve homes for lower-income owners and renters; that’s $250 million more than the House bill.

“Like the House bill, the Senate bill appears to provide enough funding to renew all vouchers in use this year only if housing agencies either don’t use their available 2014 funds to restore lost vouchers this year or freeze subsidies in spite of rising rent and utility costs. In other words, the bill would either lock in the loss of more than 70,000 vouchers or require families with meager resources to absorb significant increases in housing costs next year.”

Senate Vouchers
Click here for the full post.