The House Appropriations Committee passed the more than $55 billion FY 2016 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies (THUD) funding bill on May 13. The bill falls $1.5 billion short of what HUD has said it needs to maintain current programs and is nearly $10 billion less than President Obama’s budget request. Ultimately, with a recently agreed to Budget Resolution between the House and Senate dictating funding levels for all federal agencies, HUD’s multifamily programs were not spared from certain cuts.
The HOME Program was cut from $900 million to $767 million, and a new funding method for the program was introduced, diverting dollars currently slated for the Housing Trust Fund into HOME. This provision was hotly contested and was the subject of an amendment by Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-CA). Some are calling it a “raiding” of the Housing Trust Fund, so this is likely to continue to be a subject of debate as the bill moves forward.
The Tenant Based Rental Assistance Program also received a significant cut from more than $19 billion last year to over $18 billion. But THUD Subcommittee Chairman Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL) stressed that funding priority will be given to existing vouchers in circulation to prevent payment interruptions for voucher holders and property owners.
Winners (sort of)
The Project-Based Rental Assistance Program received a modest increase, but is still below the anticipated need for next fiscal year due to changes in the calendar year/fiscal year funding method for the program. The Federal Housing Administration’s multifamily programs received $30 billion of lending authority in the bill, well in excess of what they anticipate needing for the coming year.
The THUD bill now heads to the House floor for consideration and will provide Senate appropriators with a marker for their own legislation when they take it up in the near future.
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