President Joe Biden signed into law a fiscal year (FY) 2022 spending bill on March 11 with increased funding for affordable housing and community development programs. After nearly five months of negotiations, House and Senate leaders released the final bill text on March 9 for an FY22 spending bill that would provide roughly $1.5 trillion in federal spending for the new fiscal year. The spending bill provides HUD programs with $53.7 billion, a $4 billion increase over FY21 enacted levels. The bill passed the House on March 9 by a vote of 361 to 69 and passed the Senate the following day by a vote of 68 to 31.
This is the first year that funding levels were not limited by the “Budget Control Act,” which established strict spending limits on defense and domestic programs. Despite the increase in HUD funding, the bill funds HUD programs at an overall level that is less than what was proposed in the president’s FY22 budget request, the House’s budget request, and the Senate’s budget request. For more details on the FY22 spending proposals, see NLIHC’s updated budget chart.
The $4 billion increase above FY21 funding for HUD programs is thanks to the hard work of advocates across the nation, who weighed-in with members of Congress about the importance of increased funding for affordable housing, and thanks to our affordable housing champions in Congress: Senators Brian Schatz (D-HI) and Susan Collins (R-ME), and Representatives David Price (D-NC) and Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL), the chairs and ranking members of the Senate and House Transportation-HUD Appropriations Subcommittees.
The spending bill provides moderate funding increases to nearly all programs compared to FY21, including enough funding to renew all existing Housing Choice Vouchers and Project-Based Rental Assistance Vouchers. The bill also provides $200 million to expand rental assistance vouchers to an additional 25,000 households, including individuals and families at risk of or experiencing homelessness, veterans, and survivors of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking.
In addition to federal funding, the FY22 bill includes congressional directives to provide further details and instructions to HUD and other federal agencies on implementing, tracking, and analyzing federal programs. The congressional directives cover a range of issues related to COVID-19 relief and the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s emergency rental assistance (ERA) program, as well as directives related to disaster recovery efforts at HUD and other agencies, tribal housing, and other issues.
Congress also enacted a reauthorization of the “Violence Against Women Act” (VAWA), which supports comprehensive responses and services for survivors of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, stalking, and human trafficking. For more details on this and other housing provisions, see NLIHC’s full analysis of the FY22 spending bill.
The Continuing Need for Resources
While the final FY22 spending bill provides meaningful increases for vital HUD and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) programs, far more resources are needed to address the nation’s growing affordable housing and homelessness crises. The bill does not include the House appropriators’ proposed expansion of Housing Choice Vouchers to an additional 125,000 households. Congress thus missed an important opportunity to serve households that have been left more precariously housed than ever because of the pandemic.
Significant additional housing investments are needed to address a critical driver of inflation: skyrocketing rents. The “Build Back Better Act” approved by the House in November 2021 includes robust funding for NLIHC’s HoUSed campaign’s top policy priorities: $25 billion to expand housing vouchers to an additional 300,000 households; $65 billion to preserve public housing and improve living conditions for the nation’s more than 2 million public housing residents; and $15 billion for the national Housing Trust Fund to build, preserve, and operate an estimated 150,000 units of deeply affordable, accessible housing. These targeted housing investments must be retained in any future budget reconciliation package to help bring down housing costs for America’s lowest-income and most marginalized households.
Read NLIHC’s full analysis of the FY22 spending bill at: https://tinyurl.com/3m33e8j4
View NLIHC’s updated budget chart covering selected HUD and USDA programs at: https://tinyurl.com/2p9h5xhf