Senate Appropriations Committee Approves FY 2015 HUD Funding Bill
Earlier today, the Senate Appropriations Committee approved by a vote of 29 to one the FY 2015 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies (T-HUD) appropriations bill. During the markup, Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) said she is discussing with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) bringing the first “cluster” of appropriations bills to the Senate floor for debate the week of June 16. To date, the Senate Appropriations Committee has passed four FY 2015 appropriations bills, including T-HUD and the Agriculture bill, which provides funding for rural housing programs.
In her opening statement, T-HUD Subcommittee Chairman Patty Murray (D-WA) said the bill is fiscally responsible, with growth of just 1.1 percent over the FY 2014 level. Murray said, “We faced some very tough decisions writing this bill. To fund increases due to inflation and other uncontrollable costs, we have made the difficult choice of trimming funding for programs that members care about, including the TIGER [a transportation grant program] and HOME programs.” Murray added, “However, because we had a reasonable allocation, we were able to avoid the painful cuts the House bill would make to housing programs, transit, and Amtrak, as well as devastating cuts to TIGER and HOME.”
Ranking Member Susan Collins (R-ME) said, “The bill provides for much needed investments in our nation’s transportation network, preserves affordable housing for low-income and elderly families, and strengthens our communities.” Collins added that the bill “provides sufficient funding to keep pace with the rising costs of housing vulnerable families.”
During the markup, a managers’ amendment was accepted. Included in the amendment are provisions to add report language to require HUD to work with the US Access Board to analyze and develop recommendations to increase accessibility to housing for persons with disabilities and add bill language to authorize the HUD Secretary to make disaster assistance available to smaller, non-entitlement communities from existing funds. No additional housing-related amendments were offered.
The text of the bill and the Committee report are not yet available. According to the bill summary, as described in NCSHA’s June 4 blog post, after accounting for Federal Housing Administration (FHA) receipts available to offset spending, the bill includes $45.8 billion in funding for HUD programs, $369 million more than in FY 2014 and $853 million less than the President’s FY 2015 Budget request.
- HOME at $950 million, $50 million less than the FY 2014 enacted level, $250 million more than included in the House Appropriations Committee-passed bill, and equal to the President’s Budget request.
- Project-Based Section 8 rental assistance at $9.7 billion, $200 million less than the FY 2014 level and equal to the House bill and the President’s request.
- Housing Choice Vouchers at $19.6 billion, $385 million more than the FY 2014 level, $205 million more than the House bill, and $483 million less than the President’s request.
- Homeless Assistance Grants at $2.15 billion, $40 million more than the FY 2014 level and the House bill, and $261 million less than the President’s request.
- Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) at $3.02 billion, $10 million less than the FY 2014 level, $20 million more than the House bill, and $220 million more than the President’s request.