The House Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies released its FY12 appropriations bill on May 23 and marked up this bill on May 24. The Subcommittee’s FY12 302b allocation of $17.3 billion is $2.6 billion lower than the FY11 enacted level and $5 billion lower than the President’s FY12 request.
The Subcommittee’s bill would provide $890 million for the Section 521 Rental Assistance program, a $65 million cut below the FY11 enacted level and a $90 million cut below the FY10 level. The President’s FY12 budget only requested $907 million for the program. Advocates are concerned that these cut for Section 521 will result in currently assisted extremely low income people losing their housing. When Katherine Alitz, on behalf of the Council for Affordable and Rural Housing, testified in a May 25 House hearing (see related article on proposal to shift RHS programs to HUD), she pointed out that even funding at the President’s requested level of $907 million is “an unsustainable reduction, which may result in the loss, eviction and anticipated homelessness of residents in some 400 apartment complexes in rural America.”
The House eliminated the funds set aside within this program for preservation in its FY11 bill, which was consistent with the President’s FY12 request. The Subcommittee bill also would not set aside funding for this purpose.
The Section 515 Rental Housing program would be funded at $59 million, a nearly $11 billion cut below the FY11 level and $37 million below the Administrations FY12 budget request. The House Committee on Appropriations is scheduled to mark up the bill on May 31.
View the Housing Assistance Council’s budget chart at: http://www.ruralhome.org/storage/documents/05252011.pdf