House Subcommittee Reports HUD FY 2015 Funding Bill with Significant Cuts to HOME and Other Housing Programs
Earlier today, the House Transportation-HUD (T-HUD) Appropriations Subcommittee reported by voice vote its FY 2015 appropriations bill. The full Appropriations Committee will likely consider the bill the week of May 19. The House Appropriations Committee allocated $52.029 billion to the T-HUD Subcommittee for its FY 2015 bill, $1.2 billion more than the FY 2014 enacted funding level and $7.8 billion below the President’s FY 2015 Budget request. However, according to the Committee press release accompanying the bill, program funding within the bill is effectively $1.8 billion less than the FY 2014 funding level due to reduced receipts available from the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) to offset spending within the bill. The bill includes $40.3 billion for HUD programs, $769 million less than the FY 2014 enacted level and $2 billion less than requested in the President’s FY 2015 Budget.
In his opening statement, Subcommittee Chairman Tom Latham (R-IA) stated, “This bill provides sufficient funds to keep all families currently receiving housing assistance under the umbrella of the various HUD programs.” Latham, Ranking Member Ed Pastor (D-AZ), and full Appropriations Committee Ranking Member Nita Lowey (D-NY) all mentioned in their statements the reduced level of FHA receipts. Latham also commented that the pages of authorizing language included in the Budget request for both the Department of Transportation and HUD are best left to the authorizing committees.
Pastor stated in his opening statement that while the bill includes funding for transportation safety programs and tries to ensure all of those housed through HUD programs in FY 2014 are able to keep their housing in FY 2015, it freezes or cuts funding for a number of programs. Pastor highlighted cuts to the HOME, Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA), and Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction programs as examples of cuts proposed in the bill. Lowey stated she is specifically concerned in the HUD section of the bill about proposed cuts to the HOME program and the Public Housing Capital Fund, which she said are vital to the rehabilitation and modernization of the country’s affordable housing stock.
The Subcommittee bill proposes $700 million for the HOME program, a $300 million, or 30 percent, cut from the FY 2014 funding level of $1 billion and $250 million less than the President’s Budget request. The bill includes the President’s proposal to set-aside up to $10 million within the HOME account for the Self-help and Assisted Homeownership Opportunity Program (SHOP). Lowey noted that $700 million would be the lowest funding level in the HOME program’s history.
The bill would provide $9.7 billion for project-based Section 8, $171 million, or 2 percent, less than the FY 2014 level and equal to the President’s Budget request. Of the $9.7 billion, $210 million would be for contract administration, $55 million, or 21 percent, less than the FY 2014 level and equal to the President’s Budget request.
The bill would provide $19.4 billion for the Housing Choice Voucher (voucher) program, $180 million, or 2 percent, more than the FY 2014 level and $688 million, or 3 percent, less than the President’s Budget request. Of that amount, $17.7 billion would be provided for voucher renewals, $327 million, or 2 percent, more than provided in FY 2014 and $314 million, or 2 percent, less than requested in the President’s Budget. The bill includes $1.35 billion for administrative fees, $150 million, or 10 percent, less than provided in FY 2014 and $355 million, or 21 percent, less than requested in the President’s Budget.
The bill would provide $2.1 billion for homeless assistance grants programs, equal to the FY 2014 level and $301 million, or 13 percent, less than requested in the President’s Budget. The bill would require that at least $200 million of the funds be used for the Emergency Solutions Grants (ESG) program.
The bill would fund the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program at $3 billion, $30 million, or 1 percent, less than its FY 2014 level and $200 million, or 7 percent, more than the President’s Budget request.
The bill would also provide $420 million for the Section 202 Housing for the Elderly program and $135 million for the Section 811 Housing for Persons with Disabilities program. The bill would provide within the voucher account $75 million for 10,000 new HUD-VASH vouchers.
The bill would level fund HUD Housing Counseling funding at $45 million and cut funding for the National Foreclosure Mitigation Counseling (NFMC) program to $50 million.
The bill would provide $4.4 billion for the Public Housing Operating Fund and would cut the Public Housing Capital Fund to $1.8 billion.
The House has not yet released its FY 2015 Agriculture appropriations bill, which will include funding for USDA’s rural housing programs. The Senate has not released any FY 2015 appropriations bills.