Public Housing in the President's FY 2012 Budget...and more on H.R. 1

We have now posted our comprehensive overview of the FY 2012 budget proposal's treatment of public housing programs, including the Operating Fund, Capital Fund, and HOPE VI.  The summary also examines the administration's proposals to offset $1 billion in Operating Fund reserves (more on that below) and recast the Transforming Rental Assistance initiative as a demonstration. 

In addition to analyzing the FY 2012 budget proposal’s impact on public housing, our overview looks at how public housing programs fare under H.R. 1, the Republican-crafted long-term Continuing Resolution for FY 2011 that is currently under consideration on the House floor.  (The current Continuing Resolution funding most federal programs at FY 2010 levels is set to expire March 4.)  Please note that this review is based on H.R. 1 as introduced.  The funding levels for individual housing and community development programs in H.R. 1 are subject to change as the House considers amendments.

Later today we'll send out a similar piece covering Section 8 programs, and our analysis of the budget’s treatment of community development and affordable housing programs is scheduled for tomorrow.  We'll be wrapping up our week-long series on Friday with the release of NAHRO’s FY 2012 funding recommendations for housing and community development programs, paired with a review of additional information gleaned from the many budget briefings NAHRO staff is attending throughout the week.    

Returning to the subject of Operating Fund reserves, many NAHRO members have been asking us exactly how HUD's offset proposal will work.  The short answer is that we don't know...yet.  There are a number of unknowns, with perhaps the most important being the precise point in time HUD will use to calculate agencies' reserve levels.  The methodology HUD ultimately employs will obviously have enormous consequences for agencies' planned activities, including potentially those activities for which reserves are already obligated.  Yesterday, during a briefing on the FY 2012 budget attended by NAHRO staff, Assistant Secretary for Public and Indian Housing Sandra Henriquez suggested that agencies "may have to think about delaying plans" and, as a result, move certain projects to "the back burner." As we learn more, we'll pass it along.