Affordable Housing, Community Development, Federal News, Homelessness, Supportive Housing

Congress Poised to Shrink HUD Programs


The full Senate is now considering FY12 HUD appropriations, within a “minibus” (i.e. smaller than an omnibus) spending package that was debated last week, which includes the appropriations bills for Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies (T-HUD); Agriculture, Rural Development, and Food and Drug Administration; and Commerce, Justice, and Science.

The T-HUD portion significantly underfunds HUD programs serving low income and homelessness people, including tenant-based and project-based rent vouchers, public housing capital funds, McKinney Vento homeless assistance grants, Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), HOME Program, Section 811 housing for people with disabilities, Section 202 housing for the elderly and foreclosure counseling.

The funding shortfalls proposed caught the attention of the New York Times, which ran an editorial criticizing Congressional leaders for proposing these cuts on housing and homelessness programs at exactly the point when they’re most needed – when due to the recession a record-breaking number of households are strained by housing costs and at risk of homelessness.

If the Senate passes this minibus bill containing HUD appropriations, it must then negotiate in conference committee with the House of Representatives.  The House Appropriations Committee has not yet passed a HUD spending bill.

Current spending levels are in place until November 18 when the last Continuing Resolution funding the government expires.  By that point Congress must pass its remaining appropriations bills or pass another Continuing Resolution.  A potential obstacle to meeting the November 18 deadline could be the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, known as the Super Committee.  The Super Committee is tasked with identifying $1.2 trillion in deficit reduction savings under the Budget Control Act of 2011, passed in August and must submit its plan to Congress by November 23.  The Super Committee proposals would have to converge with the Senate and House appropriations bills.

To Learn More:
Detailed breakdown of proposed HUD funding cuts
White House Statement of Administration Policy (SAP), a reaction to the Senate minibus bill
Center on Budget and Policy Priorities report highlighting HUD spending bills’ impact on rental assistance programs
New York Times editorial: A Foolish Time to Cut Housing Aid



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