The House Appropriations Committee moved forward with its FY18 spending bill for affordable housing and community development programs on July 17. NLIHC and others estimate the bill would result in the loss of more than 140,000 housing vouchers. Without this assistance, families face immediate risk of eviction and, in worst cases, homelessness. The bill also continues to cut funding for programs that provide states and communities flexible resources to address their pressing housing and community development challenges.
The bill was approved largely along party lines, and it now heads to the House floor where it is expected to be combined into a larger spending package.
House Democrats offered several amendments to address the funding shortfalls in the spending bill, but each amendment was defeated by a strict party-line vote:
- Representative Barbara Lee (D-CA) introduced an amendment to extend the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness, which is proposed for elimination in the House bill. She also offered amendments to increase resources for the HOME Investment Partnerships (HOME) program and for public housing administrative fees. After her amendments were voted down, Ms. Lee warned that the Committee “had turned its back” on the most vulnerable people in our communities.
- Ranking Member David Price (D-NC) offered a $200 billion amendment to invest in our nation’s infrastructure, including resources for public housing, Community Development Block Grants (CDBG), Choice Neighborhood grants, HOME, and housing for the elderly and people with disabilities.
- Other amendments would have increased funding for Housing Choice Vouchers (Ms. Pingree, D-ME), public housing repairs (Mr. Serrano, D-NY), lead-based hazards (Ms. Lowey, D-NY), CDBG (Mr. Cartwright, D-PA), and housing vouchers for survivors of domestic violence (Ms. Clark, MA) and homeless veterans (Ms. Kaptur, D-OH).
The committee approved a manager’s amendment offered by THUD Subcommittee Chair Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL) that included Representative Mike Quigley’s (D-IL) amendment to expand HUD’s Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) to include Section 202 Project Rental Assistance Contracts (PRACs).