Final Vote on Spending Package Including HUD Amendments Next Week
On September 6, 2017, the House began debate of its FY18 omnibus spending package, including HUD amendments, for funding for affordable housing and community development investments at HUD.
Members worked through hundreds of amendments and plan to vote on passing the final package later this week. The House voted on several HUD amendments to the spending bill that directly impact affordable housing and community development programs.
Because of very low spending limits set by Republican leaders, House appropriators were not able to provide the funding needed to maintain FY17 HUD program levels and to ensure that every household currently receiving housing assistance can remain in their homes.
While the House HUD spending bill does not propose funding cuts as deep as President Donald Trump’s budget request, it would significantly cut funding for critical affordable housing programs that provide lifelines for extremely low-income seniors, people with disabilities, families with children, veterans, and other vulnerable populations.
The National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) and others estimate that the bill would eliminate more than 140,000 housing vouchers that families are expected to use next year. Without housing assistance, families are at immediate risk of eviction and, in worst cases, homelessness.
Below is a summary of some of the amendments.
Adopted HUD Amendments
An amendment from Representative Steve Stivers (R-OH) to shift Fair Housing Initiatives Program (FHIP) funding designated for private non-profit organizations toward state and local governments. Currently, non-profits use FHIP funds to help enforce federal fair housing laws, and these organizations address 70% of all housing discrimination complaints nationwide. State and local agencies may participate in the Fair Housing Assistance Program (FHAP). The amendment, which NLIHC opposed, was adopted by a voice vote.
An en bloc voting package, passed by a voice vote, that included:
An amendment offered by Representative Darren Soto (D-FL) to increase funding for the Section 202 Housing for the Elderly program by $2.5 million. The increase is offset by a $2.5 million reduction to HUD’s Office of Policy Development and Research.
An amendment from Representative Steve Knight (R-CA) to increase funding for CDBG by $100 million. The increase is offset by a $100 million reduction to HUD’s IT Fund.
An amendment from Representatives Joe Courtney (D-CT) and John Larson (D-CT) to provide CDBG funds to examine the application of grant funds to mitigate and re-mediate the effects of residential damage caused by defective concrete.
A sanctuary cities amendment from Representative Jason Smith (R-MO) that prohibits HUD funds from being used for a state or local government entity or official if that state, entity, or official prohibits, or in any way restricts, any government entity or official from sending to, or receiving from, the Immigration and Naturalization Service information regarding the citizenship or immigration status, lawful or unlawful, of any individual. The amendment was adopted by a vote of 225-195.
Rejected HUD Amendments
Three amendments offered by Representative Glenn Grothman (R-WI) were rejected by a recorded vote. NLIHC opposed all three amendments as they would have substantially decreased funding for HUD programs.
The first would have decreased funding for tenant-based rental assistance by more than $177 million. The amendment failed by a vote of 124-295.
The second amendment would have decreased funding for project-based rental assistance by $266 million. The amendment failed by a vote of 139-282.
The third would have reduced overall funding for HUD by 2%. The amendment failed by a vote of 140-280.
Withdrawn HUD Amendments
Representative Dan Kildee (D-MI) withdrew an amendment that would have increased funding for the HOME program by $100 million and offset the increase by reducing FAA Operations/Air Traffic Control by the same amount. NLIHC supported this amendment when the House Rules Committee initially approved it for House floor debate.
Before the House Rules Committee began considering what amendments would be debated on the House floor, Representative Paul Gosar (R-AZ) withdrew a harmful amendment that would have prohibited HUD from implementing its Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) rule and making available its AFFH assessment tool, which provide states and local communities with the guidance and resources they need to better fulfill their decades-old legal obligation to promote housing choice.