The House of Representatives voted 219 to 208 on July 29 to approve its Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development (THUD) spending bill for fiscal year (FY) 2022. The bill would substantially increase federal investment in affordable homes and expand the availability of housing assistance to families with the greatest needs.
The House bill proposes to fund HUD at $56.5 billion, an increase of $6.8 billion above FY21. If enacted, the bill would provide significant increases to nearly all HUD programs compared to FY21. The bill calls for expanding rental assistance through the Tenant-Based Rental Assistance program to 125,000 additional households and proposes to increase funding for Homeless Assistance Grants by more than $400 million to $3.4 billion and to provide $3.7 billion for public housing capital repairs and climate-resilient upgrades to the public housing stock.
Several amendments were passed:
- From Representative Sean Maloney (D-NY): $2 million in HUD’s Self-Help Homeownership Opportunity Program account is reserved to provide grants for abatement of lead and other environmental hazards.
- From Representatives Cori Bush (D-MO) and Pramila Jayapal (D-WA): An additional $5 million for HUD’s incremental voucher program for vouchers for survivors of domestic violence and unhoused individuals and families (also reduces the public housing agency administrative account by $5 million).
- From Representative Shelia Jackson-Lee (D-TX): An additional $1 million for HUD’s office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity (FHEO) to address fairness in the Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) program; decreases the HUD Office of Community Planning and Development (OCPD) funding by $1 million.
- From Representatives Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), Cori Bush (D-MO), and Ayanna Pressley (D-MA): Clarifies that Homeless Assistance Grant funds can be used to protect the right of people experiencing homelessness to carry out life-sustaining activities in public spaces.
The Senate has not yet begun to draft its FY22 spending bills, leading many to expect at least a short-term continuing resolution (CR) to keep the government open when the new fiscal year begins on October 1.
The FY22 spending bill is one of several proposals to invest in the nation’s affordable housing infrastructure. The president’s American Jobs Plan calls for a $318 billion investment in affordable housing. Advocates should continue to contact their senators and representatives to urge them to expand investments in deeply affordable, accessible homes through both the FY22 spending bill and an infrastructure and spending package, including the HoUSed campaign’s top priorities: expanding rental assistance to all eligible households, $70 billion to preserve public housing, and at least $45 billion for the national Housing Trust Fund to build and operate homes affordable to the lowest-income households.
- Sign your organization to a letter supporting increased funding in FY22 for affordable housing, homelessness, and community development resources.
- Contact your senators and representatives and urge them to support the HoUSed campaign’s top priorities for any infrastructure and spending package.
- Sign the HoUSed campaign’s national letter calling on Congress to enact long-term solutions to the housing crisis.