“Overall, the final bill is better for housing programs than might have occurred, and having full-year funding settled will bring needed stability to rental assistance and other HUD programs.”
Writes CBPP Vice President for Housing Policy Barbara Sard.
To view a budget chart prepared by the NLIHC click here.
The law provides $45.4 billion for HUD programs; this is $90 million less than Congress provided in 2014, $677 million more than the House approved earlier this year, and $459 million less than the Senate Appropriations Committee included.
The final FY 2015 law:
Avoids the House bill’s deep cuts in Housing Choice Voucher administrative fees, public housing capital funding, and the HOME program,
Provides what is likely to be sufficient funding to renew all housing vouchers in use (under the calendar-year funding formula), and
Includes a new funding adjustment provision that will help agencies to renew vouchers initially leased at the end of 2014 as well as those issued in late 2014 but not leased until 2015.
In addition, it expands the cap on Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) conversions from 60,000 to 185,000 units.
Yet the law leaves in place most of the sequestration cuts in housing vouchers, and continues to fund nearly every housing and community development program at historically low levels.
Housing Choice (Section 8) Vouchers
The FY 2015 law provides a total of $19.3 billion for Housing Choice Vouchers. This amount includes $17.5 billion for housing voucher renewals, $1.53 billion for administrative fees, $130 million for tenant protection vouchers, and $75 million for new veterans’ supportive housing (VASH) vouchers.
Homeless Assistance Grants
The funding law provides $2.14 billion for homeless assistance grants, $30 million more than in 2014, and $271 million below the President’s request. The law sets aside at least $250 million for Emergency Solutions Grants and at least $1.86 billion for continuum of care grants.
It is unclear whether the appropriation will be sufficient to renew all continuum of care grant applications for FY 2015. Renewals totaled $1.56 billion for FY 2013, but the annual renewal burden is difficult to predict, and the FY 2014 renewal awards have not yet been announced. In its recent budget requests, HUD has estimated that the renewal burden would increase by $90 – 95 million per year in 2014 and 2015.