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NLIHC Statement on Release of Final FY24 Spending Bill

Washington, D.C. – The National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) and its national HoUSed campaign applaud congressional leaders for providing significant new funding to address America’s affordable housing and homelessness crisis in the fiscal year (FY) 2024 spending bill released yesterday. Overall, the spending bill provides more than $70 billion for HUD programs.

“With this spending bill, Congress prevented the loss of 80,000 to 112,000 housing vouchers at a time when millions of the lowest-income and most marginalized households are struggling to pay rent and when homelessness has risen to its highest level on record,” said Diane Yentel, president and CEO of NLIHC. “The bill marks a significant win for the national HoUSed campaign, advocates across the nation, and key congressional champions, including Senators Brian Schatz (D-HI) and Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS) and Representatives Tom Cole (R-OK) and Mike Quigley (D-IL), and it will help fuel our continued work to achieve the large-scale, sustained investments needed to end homelessness and housing poverty once and for all.”

Funding for domestic programs – including affordable housing and homelessness programs – was severely limited by the “Fiscal Responsibility Act” (FRA) enacted in June 2023. Under the budget deal, Congress and the White House agreed to cap overall spending for domestic programs at approximately FY23 levels and to limit spending increases in FY25 to only 1%, in exchange for raising the federal debt ceiling until 2025. Congressional leaders also negotiated a $69 billion side agreement to help bolster spending for domestic programs. At the same time, HUD’s budget for FY24 was under additional strain due to higher-than-expected renewal costs for vouchers, caused by the increased cost of rent in communities nationwide, and lower receipts from the Federal Housing Administration, which typically help offset the cost of HUD programs.

Despite serious funding challenges, the final spending bill provides significant resources for the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program, which was funded at $32.4 billion (a $2.1 billion increase over FY23-enacted levels). This funding level is higher than the levels proposed in either the House or Senate versions of the bill, which could have led to a loss of 80,000 to 112,000 housing vouchers, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. As a result of the higher funding level, there should be sufficient resources to renew all existing rental assistance contracts and expand rental assistance to an additional 3,000 households.

The bill also provides increased or level resources for the HoUSed campaign’s other top priorities, including Homeless Assistance Grants, Public Housing Capital and Operating Funds, Tribal housing programs, and eviction prevention.

The underlying cause of America’s housing and homelessness crisis is the severe shortage of homes affordable and available to people with the lowest incomes and the widening gap between incomes and housing costs. There is a national shortage of 7.3 million homes that are affordable and available to America’s lowest-income renters – those earning less than either the federal poverty rate or 30% of their area median income, whichever is greater. The severe shortage of homes for extremely low-income renters is a structural feature of the country’s housing system, impacting every state and nearly every community. Despite the clear and urgent need, Congress only provides housing assistance to one in four eligible households.

To fully end America’s housing and homelessness crisis, Congress and the administration must increase investments in long-term solutions. These solutions start with ensuring that rental assistance is universally available to all eligible households, preserving and expanding the supply of homes affordable to people with the lowest incomes through investments in the national Housing Trust Fund and public housing, making emergency rental assistance programs permanently available to households in need, and strengthening and enforcing robust renter protections.