Another key step was taken in the appropriations process last week. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released its revenue and spending estimates of the President’s FY2015 budget. CBO estimated that estimates generated by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) are $4.3 billion lower than what HUD estimated in their budget proposal. In the past, FHA receipts have been used to offset HUD appropriations.
Now that CBO has scored the budget request, the Appropriations Committees will announce their 302(b) subcommittee spending allocations. This allocation will determine how much subcommittee can spend on their FY2015 bill.
Members also finalized Dear Colleague letters to the appropriations subcommittees, making funding requests for various programs. A letter circulated by Rep. Gwen Moore (D-WI) requesting an additional $300 million for the Homelessness Assistance Grant (HAG) programs received 89 co-signers. Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI) circulated a similar letter in the Senate in support of HAG funding and was joined by 28 co-signers. Rep. Nadler (D-NY) circulated a letter requesting full renewal funding for the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program and an additional $320 million for special purpose vouchers (SPVs) that received 77 co-signers. CSH reached out to partner organizations to urge members to sign onto these letters. The increased funding to restore the vouchers lost to sequestration is part of CSH’s 2014 Policy Priorities, which can be viewed here.
Both the House and Senate Transportation and Housing Subcommittee have already held HUD budget hearings, where Secretary Donovan explained the HUD budget proposal to members. CSH expects that both the House and Senate appropriations THUD subcommittees will go to a mark-up in late May with possible floor action in each chamber before the August recess.
Now is a critical time to engage Congressional offices to encourage increased funding for programs that are integral to creating and sustaining supportive housing.