House Subcommittee Approves Big Increases for HUD
Major increases to vouchers and the Public Housing Capital Fund could be coming next fiscal year, if Congress adopts proposed legislation that was approved by a subcommittee tonight.
The House Appropriations Transportation-HUD Subcommittee voted to send its fiscal year (FY) 2022 spending bill to the full committee, approving a nearly 14% increase to the HUD budget. The bill will be considered by the full committee on July 16. While no changes were made to the bill by the subcommittee, amendments are expected in the full committee that could result in changes. All funding levels are merely proposals until signed into law by the President.
The legislation, combined with robust investments in infrastructure, could make a huge difference in the lives of Americans struggling with housing affordability and offers resources PHAs need to serve their residents. NAHRO thanks the House Appropriations Transportation-HUD Subcommittee, headed by Congressman David Price (D-N.C.) and Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart (R-Fla.), for their work on this bill. NAHRO also thanks its tireless advocates who speak up again and again for housing and community development programs.
The bill creates, according to the Transportation-HUD Subcommittee, an estimated 125,000 new vouchers, a significant expansion of the program. Included in the bill is a $331 million increase in voucher administrative fees and an additional $150 million for mobility services for voucher families with children.
The Public Housing Capital Fund is fully funded at its annual accrual rate of $3.4 billion. If approved, this is the first time Congress would provide funding to cover the full capital needs of public housing properties each year. The bill does not address the backlog of maintenance that is a direct result of decades of underfunding, which NAHRO estimates to exceed $70 billion.
The proposed legislation also provides an increase to the HOME program, finally restoring funding to pre-sequestration levels of $1.85 billion. The Community Development Block Grant program is funded at $3.7 billion, a 6.5% increase over current funding levels.
For the first time in over a decade, earmarks make a return to the appropriations process. The legislation provides $923.5 million for the Economic Development Initiative program, which will provide direct funding to community for specific, targeted projects. The report that accompanies the legislation will contain details on which communities nationwide could receive earmarks for projects. The report text is typically released after the full committee approves the legislative text.
The full Appropriations Committee will consider the bill on July 16, likely amending it. Once approved by the full committee, the legislation moves to the House floor. Timing for a floor vote is unclear, as Congress is focused on an infrastructure package before the August recess.
NAHRO will provide an in-depth summary of the FY 2022 T-HUD bill after the full committee vote.