FY17 Bill Increases Homeless Assistance
Renews Current Vouchers
The House Committee on Appropriations approved its FY17 HUD spending bill by a voice vote today.
As we reported last week, the bill would:
- Increase funding for homeless assistance programs;
- Provide sufficient funding to renew existing project-based rental assistance contracts;
- Allocate enough funds to renew existing Housing Choice vouchers and provide additional funds for Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (VASH) vouchers specifically targeted to Native American veterans;
- Level fund the HOME Investment Partnerships program; and
- Provide more resources to the Office of Lead Hazard Control and Healthy Homes grants.
Members of the Committee agreed to limit debate on the bill and offered few amendments. THUD Subcommittee Chair Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL) offered a manager’s package of amendments that was adopted by a voice vote. Mr. Diaz-Balart said the package was “indicative of the bipartisan nature and the good working relationships on this legislation which should make us all, frankly, very proud.”
Representative Barbara Lee (D-CA) offered an amendment that would have extended the authorization of the US Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH), which is set to expire this year. The amendment was rejected by a voice vote. The Senate-version of the bill includes a one-year extension for USICH.
Chair Diaz-Balart objected to the Lee amendment saying,
“This program doesn’t support homeless people. It pays for the salaries and expenses of federal bureaucrats.”
However, he noted that this will be an issue when the House and Senate negotiate a final version of the FY17 THUD bill.”
No amendments were offered that would prevent HUD from implementing its Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule.