President Trump signed two final spending packages for FY20 that avoid a government shutdown and provide funding for affordable housing and community development programs at HUD and USDA. Overall, the spending bill provides HUD programs with over than $12 billion more than the president’s request, and clearly rejects the administration’s call to drastically cut housing benefits that help millions of low-income household’s afford their homes, especially seniors, people with disabilities, families with children, and veterans.
This successful outcome is due to the hard work of advocates across the nation and strong Congressional champions, including Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Jack Reed (D-RI) and Representatives David Price (D-NC) and Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL), the chairs and ranking members of the House and Senate Transportation-HUD Appropriations Subcommittees.
The spending package increases funding for tenant-based rental assistance, the Public Housing Capital Fund, homeless assistance grants, and project-based rental assistance. Other programs also receiving funding greater than the FY19 levels include: HOME Investment Partnerships, Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDs, Section 811 Housing for Persons with Disabilities, Section 202 Housing for the Elderly, Choice Neighborhoods Initiative, and Community Development Block Grants. Public Housing Operating Funds were cut modestly compared to FY19 levels. The spending package also includes $25 million for a mobility housing voucher demonstration to help families with young children move to areas of opportunity, $100 million in competitive grants to Native American communities to spur construction and preservation of affordable rental housing, and an additional allocation of $1 billion for areas in California impacted by wildfires in 2017 and 2018.
The spending package also includes legislative provisions to stop the administration from moving forward with efforts to undermine evidence-based approaches to ending homelessness, as well as strong language requiring HUD to release critical mitigation funds for Puerto Rico that were approved by Congress nearly two years ago. Unfortunately, the final bill does not include language blocking harmful HUD policy proposals that would force mixed-status immigrant families to separate or face eviction from HUD-assisted housing or to allow shelters to discriminate against transgender and LBGT people experiencing homelessness – proposals NLIHC strongly opposes and will continue to organize against.
A full analysis of the FY20 spending bill is at: https://bit.ly/2S5JBwB
NLIHC’s updated budget chart is at: https://tinyurl.com/y6tnabuo