The House Committee on Appropriations approved its FY17 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies (THUD) spending bill by a voice vote on May 24. As we reported last week, the bill would:
- Increase funding for homeless assistance programs;
- Provide sufficient funding to renew existing project-based rental assistance contracts;
- Allocate enough funds to renew existing Housing Choice vouchers and provide additional funds for Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (VASH) vouchers specifically targeted to Native American veterans;
- Provide level-funding for public housing;
- Level-fund the HOME Investment Partnerships program, the Community Development Block Grant program, and the Housing Opportunities for People with AIDS program;
- Increase funding for the Section 202 Housing for the Elderly program and the Section 811 Housing for People with Disabilities program; and
- Provide more resources to the Office of Lead Hazard Control and Healthy Homes grants.
Members of the Committee agreed to limit debate on the bill and offered few amendments. THUD Subcommittee Chair Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL) offered a manager’s package of amendments that was adopted by a voice vote. Mr. Diaz-Balart said the package was “indicative of the bipartisan nature and the good working relationships on this legislation which should make us all, frankly, very proud.”
Representative Barbara Lee (D-CA) offered an amendment that would have extended the authorization of the US Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH), which is set to expire this year. The amendment was rejected by a voice vote. The Senate THUD funding bill includes a one-year extension for USICH. Chair Diaz-Balart objected to the Lee amendment saying, “This program doesn’t support homeless people. It pays for the salaries and expenses of federal bureaucrats.” He noted, however, that the extension of USICH’s authorization will be an issue for discussion when the House and Senate negotiate a final version of the FY17 THUD bill.
No amendments were offered that would prevent HUD from implementing its Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule.
The bill now moves to the House floor. Given the limited number of days remaining when Congress is in session, it is unclear when the bill will receive a final vote.
Read more about the bill at: http://1.usa.gov/1WXjaGn
NLIHC budget chart is at: http://bit.ly/1SowzjU