In addition to cuts to specific HUD programs, H.R. 1473 cuts HUD programs by nearly $3 billion dollars, or 6.5%, below FY10 funding levels by implementing a .2% across-the-board cut to budget authority, accounts, items, programs and projects, exacting additional cuts for other programs and eliminating entirely funding for other programs. The bill appears to renew all expiring project-based Section 8 contracts and all Housing Choice Vouchers currently in use.
In the Tenant Based Rental Assistance account, three programs are targeted for cuts: vouchers for the Family Unification Program are not included, a decrease of $15 million below the FY10 level; Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing vouchers are funded at only $49.9 million, a $25.1 million cut below FY10 levels; and Tenant Protection vouchers are funded at $109.8 million, $10.2 million below FY10 levels.
The Tenant Based Rental Assistance Administration Fees are cut by $128 million, or 8% below FY10 levels, leaving $1.447 million for FY11. Insufficient administrative support for the program could lead to slower lease up of current vouchers that turn over and, ultimately, a loss of vouchers.
The Public Housing Operating Fund is cut by $158 million, or 3%, and the Public Housing Capital Fund is cut by $460 million, an 18% cut. The HOPE VI program is funded at $99.8 million, a 26% cut.
Community Development Fund (CDF) programs are cut significantly. The Community Development Block Grant is cut by 16%, or $654 million, and the Economic Development Initiatives Grants (earmarks) and the Rural Innovation Fund programs are not funded. The Economic Development Initiatives Grants and other CDF accounts were zeroed out in several prior CRs.
The Native American Housing Block Grants are cut by $51 million, or 7%, and the Lead Hazard Reduction program is cut by $20.2 million, a 14% decrease below FY10 funding levels.
Capital programs, including programs for vulnerable households, are cut significantly. The HOME Investment Partnerships program is cut by $218.2 million, or 12%; the Section 202 Housing for the Elderly program is cut by $426 million, or 52%; and the Section 811 Housing for People with Disabilities program is cut by $115.4 million, a 38% cut.
Funding for the Housing Counseling Assistance, Brownfield Redevelopment, and the Energy Innovation Fund accounts is eliminated. HUD will not comment on how cuts to programs that receive zero funding under this bill would be implemented until after the bill is signed into law.
Other HUD programs received only the .2% across the board cut. Additional federal safety net programs for low income households were also targeted, with the Low Income Housing and Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) cut by $390 million, the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program cut by $504 million and Community Health Centers cut by $600 million.
The House voted 260 to 167 in favor of the bill with both Democrats and Republicans voting against the bill. Several Democratic Members who previously spoke against cuts of this level spoke on the House floor in favor of passing the bill citing the urgency of providing FY11 funding and proceeding with the FY12 funding process.
The Senate then took up H.R. 1743 and voted 81 to 19 in favor of the bill. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) spoke on the Senate floor posing the question of whether these cuts are moral. “Is it a moral good to eliminate housing counseling for families facing foreclosures?” the Senator asked.
On April 13, NLIHC sent a Call to Action on urging Representatives and Senators to vote against deep cuts to HUD programs. “What is being billed as a compromise between political parties is in fact a compromise of our government’s commitment to this nation’s most vulnerable citizens. We want the House and Senate to know we object,” said NLIHC President Sheila Crowley in a press release.
The Campaign for Housing and Community Development Funding (CHCDF) issued a press release that was also circulated to House and Senate members. “Cuts should not come at the expense of low income households who cannot afford housing or from communities that desperately need assistance…. Lawmakers have proposed exactly that by cutting HUD’s budget 6.4% below the FY10 funding levels,” wrote CHCDF members.
HUD is now expected to begin implementing cuts to the aforementioned
programs. Congress will proceed with the FY12 funding process; rather
than FY11 serving as a baseline for funding HUD programs, it is expected
to be the highest level of funding for these programs as Congress
searches for even deeper spending cuts in order to help reduce the