On June 6, the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation and Housing and Urban Development released its Fiscal Year 2013 bill, which is set to be passed on June 7. While the chances of passing and enacting final versions of this bill in both the House and Senate remain tenuous, the funding levels recommended by both Chambers’ subcommittees reveal better insight as to what funding levels might actually be for housing programs in 2013.
There are positives and negatives in the House’s version of the bill, particularly as it is compared to the Senate’s version and to the President’s budget. Below is a comparison table and brief narrative of programs we’re interested in because of their impact in preventing and ending homelessness through the creation of permanent supportive housing.
|Tenant-based Rental Assistance (renewals)||$17.42 B||$17.24 B||$17.49 B||$17.24 B|
|HUD-VA Supportive Housing (HUDVASH)||$75 M||$75 M||$75 M||$75 M|
|Homeless Assistance Grants||$1.9 B||$2.23 B||$2.15 B||$2 B|
|CDBG||$2.95 B||$2.95 B||$3.1 B||$3.3 B|
|HOME Investment Partnerships||$1 B||$1 B||$1 B||$1.2 B|
|Section 811 Housing for the Disabled||$165 M||$150 M||$150 M||$165 M|
|Section 202 Housing for the Elderly||$375 M||$475 M||$375 M||$425 M|
- The House proposes to fund McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Grants program at $2 billion. This funding level is nearly $100 million above last year’s level, though it falls well behind both the President’s budget and the Senate’s recommendation of $2.15 billion. While we acknowledge and appreciate the House’s increase in funding over the previous fiscal year, particularly in these difficult fiscal times, it falls $100 million short to renew all existing Continuum of Care programs and will not allow any new supportive housing to be created. We strongly urge the House to provide no less than the Senate’s recommendation of $2.15 billion, which will help more fully implement the HEARTH Act, allow communities to continue to build new supportive housing, and more strongly support rapid re-housing programs within the Emergency Solutions Grant program.
- We are grateful the House has joined the Senate and the President in proposing $75 million for a new round of 10,000 HUD-VA supportive housing vouchers (HUD-VASH) for homeless veterans is proposed. Earlier this year a HUD report indicated that Congress’ support for VASH and other programs benefiting homeless veterans led to a 12% drop in veterans’ homelessness in just one year.
- One of the most notable increases in the House bill was a $200 million increase for the HOME program. While still well below historical levels for this program, the House has made an important course correction on the HOME program, which has seen its funding slashed in the past two years. CSH estimates these flexible funds are used in approximately 80% of supportive housing projects and is particularly important as a gap-filler as permanent financing sources are being assembled.
- Unfortunately the House provided lower funding for the Section 8 tenant-based rental assistance account than the Senate did. The House’s recommended funding of $17.24 for renewals is estimated to be insufficient to meet current renewal need. We are pleased however that the Subcommittee matched both the President’s request and the Senate’s recommendation of $1.575 billion for Housing Authority administrative fees. PHAs are important partners in ending homelessness but they need to be properly funded to support more innovative programs to address special needs populations.
- The House Subcommittee also proposed a larger increase to the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program than either the Senate or President proposed. The House bill recommends $3.3 billion for CDBG in FY13, an increase of $350 million over FY12.