Good Housing Investments in a
Tight Budget Year
On April 21, 2016, the Senate Committee on Appropriations passed its FY17 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies (THUD) funding bill on April 21 by unanimous consent, 30 to 0.
The Appropriations THUD Subcommittee had approved the bill on April 19. The Committee sailed through consideration of the bill, voting on only one bipartisan package of amendments primarily concerned with non-binding report language. The bill can now go to the Senate floor, perhaps as early the week of April 25.
When accounting for certain rescissions and estimated receipts, the THUD allocation is $1.4 billion more than in FY16. Given the tight constraints on federal spending, the HUD allocations in the bill are better than expected. HUD will receive $39.2 billion, an increase of nearly $891 million from FY16.
There are no major cuts, and a few programs received funding increases. Importantly, the spending levels in the bill should allow for continued assistance to all households currently served by HUD programs.
Highlights of the bill include:
- $20 million for new Family Unification Program (FUP) vouchers
- $57 million for new HUD-VASH vouchers,
- $11 million for a mobility demonstration in the voucher program.
- Preservation of the $950 million in HOME funding (level funding)
- $2.3 billion for homelessness assistance which includes $40 million to address youth homelessness
This budget year was still tight which makes these good investments.
The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) has prepared a helpful piece about what to look for in appropriations.