House THUD Appropriations Subcommittee Blunts Many Administration-Proposed Funding Cuts
The House Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development (THUD) on July 11 approved its Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 funding bill, which provides $38.3 billion in total net discretionary spending on HUD programs, $483 million less than the FY 2017 enacted level but $6.9 billion more than the Administration’s FY 2018 budget request. The bill includes $850 million for the HOME Investment Partnerships program, $100 million less than last year, but rejecting the Administration’s proposal to eliminate funding for it.
Subcommittee Chairman Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL) and Ranking Member David Price (D-NC) both acknowledged that they had to make tough funding decisions given the Subcommittee’s overall allocation, which is $1.2 billion less than last year’s. The Subcommittee rejected many of the Administration’s other proposed program eliminations, including those to end the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and Choice Neighborhoods programs, instead cutting current year funding for each by $100 million and $118 million, respectively. The Subcommittee reduced administrative fee funding for the Housing Choice Voucher program by $100 million from its FY 2017 funding level of $1.65 million.
Other bill highlights include:
- The $850 million for HOME is 11 percent less than the FY 2017 funding level. This represents a 53 percent cut since FY 2011.
- $11.1 billion to renew all project-based rental assistance contracts, an increase of $266 million over the FY 2017 funding level. The Subcommittee suggests this is sufficient to renew all existing contracts.
- $20.5 billion for the Housing Choice Voucher program, $195 million more than last year and $1.1 billion more than the Administration’s FY 2018 request. The Subcommittee suggests this funding level is sufficient to renew all existing vouchers.
- $2.38 billion for Homeless Assistance Grants, the same as in FY 2017.
- No directive to eliminate the Housing Trust Fund (HTF), despite the Administration’s proposal to end the assessment on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac that capitalizes the Trust Fund annually.
- $20 million for the Choice Neighborhoods program, an 86 percent cut from FY 2017.
- $573 million for the Section 202 Housing for the Elderly program, 14 percent more than in FY 2017.
- $147 million for the Section 811 Housing for People with Disabilities program, $1 million more than in FY 2017.
- $356 million for the Housing Opportunities for People with AIDS (HOPWA) program, the same as in FY 2017.
- $4.4 billion for the Public Housing Operating Fund, the same as in FY 2017.
- $1.85 billion for the Public Housing Capital Fund, $91 million or 5 percent less than in FY 2017.
- $130 million for the Office of Lead Hazard Control and Healthy Homes grants, $15 million less than in FY 2017.
- Prohibits funds from being used to direct grantees to make specific changes to their zoning laws in order to comply with the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) rule or with the AFFH assessment tool.
- Eliminates the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness.
The Appropriations Committee will consider this bill on Monday, July 17 at 7:00 pm.