The U.S. Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies (THUD) released today its draft spending bill for fiscal year (FY) 2023. The bill provides $70 billion, including $10.3 billion in offsets, for HUD’s affordable housing, homelessness, and community development programs – an increase of $4.3 billion over FY22-enacted levels but $3 billion less than the House bill and $1.9 billion less than the amount proposed in President Biden’s FY23 budget request. For full details, see NLIHC’s updated budget chart.
The Senate bill provides $30.18 billion for Housing Choice Vouchers, which is an increase of $2.8 billion over FY22-enacted levels and likely enough funding to renew all existing contracts, given current data. However, the proposal provides significantly less funding to expand vouchers to assist households than the funding proposed by the House or President Biden: the House bill would provide an additional 140,000 households with rental assistance, and President Biden’s budget request would provide an additional 200,000 households with rental assistance. The Senate bill would only expand rental assistance up to 5,000 additional households.
The Senate bill proposes to increase funding for some HUD programs compared to FY22, in some cases above the levels proposed by the House last month. The bill includes a $225 million increase to the HOME Investment Partnership program ($1.725 billion), which is $50 million more than the amount proposed by the House. The bill also proposes a $50 million increase to tribal housing programs ($1.052 billion), which is over $50 million more than the amount proposed by the House.
While some programs would receive an increase in funding compared to FY22, these programs are funded at levels lower than those proposed by the House. Project-Based Rental Assistance ($14.687 billion), Homeless Assistance Grants ($3.545 billion), the Housing for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA) program ($468 million), and the Public Housing Capital Fund ($3.405 billion) would receive more funding than in FY22, but less than the amounts proposed by the House bill.
Other programs would be provided less funding by the Senate bill than the FY22-enacted levels or the amounts proposed by the House. These include the Choice Neighborhood Grants ($250 million), Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) ($4.818 billion), Section 811 Housing for Persons with Disabilities ($288 million), Policy Development and Research ($115 million), and Healthy Homes ($390 million) programs.
The Public Housing Operating Fund ($5.06 billion), Section 202 Housing for the Elderly program ($1.03 billion), and Fair Housing programs ($85 million) would receive level funding compared to FY22.
More advocacy is needed to ensure that the final spending bills provide robust funding to HUD programs. Because appropriations committee leaders have not yet reached a bipartisan agreement on topline spending numbers, the draft House and Senate bills were written by Democrats and without input from Republicans. Any final spending bill must garner the support of at least 10 Senate Republicans to avoid a filibuster.
NLIHC expects Congress will need to enact a continuing resolution (CR) to keep the government open past the start of the new fiscal year on October 1 and to provide leadership with more time to negotiate, draft, and enact final spending bills by the end of the year.
Advocates should continue weighing in with their senators and representatives to urge them to expand investments in affordable, accessible homes through the FY23 spending bill, including for NLIHC’s top priorities:
- $32.13 billion for the Tenant-Based Rental Assistance (TBRA) program to renew all existing contracts and expand housing vouchers to an additional 200,000 households.
- $5.125 billion for the Public Housing Capital Fund to preserve public housing, and $5.06 billion for the Public Housing Operating Fund.
- $3.6 billion for HUD’s Homeless Assistance Grants program to address the needs of people experiencing homelessness.
- $100 million for legal assistance to prevent evictions.
- $300 million for the competitive tribal housing program, targeted to tribes with the greatest needs.
Tenant-Based Rental Assistance
The Senate bill proposes increasing funding for HUD’s Tenant-Based Rental Assistance program (TBRA) by $2.8 billion above FY22-enacted levels, to a total of $30.18 billion, which is expected to be sufficient to ensure all contracts are fully renewed, given current data. However, the bill does not include as large an expansion of rental assistance as proposed by either the House or President Biden. The House bill would expand rental assistance to an additional 140,000 households with low incomes, while President Biden requested expanding the program to serve an additional 200,000 households. In comparison, the Senate bill would create up to 5,000 additional vouchers through an investment of $50 million in new incremental vouchers.
The bill does not fund the Mobility Demonstration program, which combines rental assistance with mobility counseling to help families with young children secure housing in areas with strong schools, economic opportunities, and other resources.
The Veteran Affairs Supportive Housing (VASH) program would receive $85 million to create an additional 7,460 new HUD VASH vouchers for veterans experiencing homelessness, and the Senate bill would provide $5 million to serve Native American homeless veterans. The bill would also provide funding to support activities to increase the rate of HUD VASH voucher utilization, as well as reforms to improve the coordination between public housing authorities (PHAs), service organizations, and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
The bill would provide $667 million for Section 811 mainstream vouchers and $30 million for the Family Unification Program – level funding compared to FY22.
Project-Based Rental Assistance
The Senate spending proposal would provide $14.687 billion to renew Project-Based Rental Assistance (PBRA) contracts, an increase of $747 billion above FY22-funding levels and $253 million less than what was proposed in the House’s budget. This amount may be sufficient to renew all existing PBRA contracts.
The Senate proposal calls for $3.545 billion for Homeless Assistance Grants, an increase of $332 million over 2022-enacted levels, but $59 million less than the amount proposed by the House.
The Senate spending bill would allocate $3.405 billion to public housing capital needs, a modest increase of $17 million over FY22-enacted levels, though this amount is $265 million less than the amount proposed in House bill. This assistance includes formula funding and $50 million for emergency capital needs, as well as $65 million to address lead-based paint hazards.
The bill would provide $5.064 billion to cover public housing operating costs, level funding compared to FY22 and the funding included in the House’s proposal. Operating support includes both formula funding and an additional $25 million, to be allocated based on need.
HOME Investment Partnerships
The Senate bill proposes to fund the HOME Investment Partnership program (HOME) at $1.725 billion, an increase of $225 million over FY22-enacted levels and $50 million more than the level proposed in the House bill. If enacted, HOME would receive the highest level of funding in over a decade, which the committee estimates would result in the construction of more than 11,400 new rental and homebuyer units.
Community Development Block Grants
The Senate bill would provide $4.818 billion for the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program – a decrease of $23 million from the previous fiscal year and $481 billion less than what was proposed in the House bill. Of that amount, more than $1 billion is earmarked for specific community development projects.
The bill would provide $200 million in CDBG funds and broad waiver authority for a new “Yes In My Back Yard” incentive program to reward jurisdictions that make reforms to remove barriers to affordable housing production.
The Senate bill calls for $85 million for HUD’s Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity, which is essentially equal to the House proposal and FY22-enacted levels.
Section 202 Housing for the Elderly & Section 811 Housing for People with Disabilities
The Senate bill includes $1.033 billion for the Section 202 Housing for the Elderly program, level funding compared with FY22-enacted levels but $167 million lower than the funding proposed in the House bill.
The Senate spending bill would provide $288 million for the Section 811 program to support affordable, accessible housing for people with disabilities, a $64 million decrease from FY22-enacted levels and $112 million below the House’s spending bill.
The Senate spending bill would help address housing conditions on tribal lands by providing $1.052 billion to fund tribal housing programs – an increase of approximately $50 million over FY22 and $52 million above the amount proposed by the House spending bill. This amount includes $819 million for formula Native American Housing and Self-Determination Act (NAHASDA) programs and $150 million for competitive NAHASDA funds. Competitive NAHASDA funding is targeted to tribes based on needs and capacity, although NLIHC urges Congress to further target these resources to tribes with the greatest needs.
The Senate bill calls for $390 million to reduce lead-based paint and other health hazards – $25 million less than FY22-enacted levels and the funding proposed in the House bill.
Other HUD Programs
The budget does not include the House’s proposal for a $20 million set-aside for an eviction-prevention legal services program to be housed within the Office for Policy Development and Research. NLIHC has been advocating for at least $100 million for legal services to prevent evictions to be included in the FY23 appropriations bill.
The bill includes $63 million for housing counseling, an increase of $6 million over FY22-enacted levels and $7 million less than the amount proposed by the House.
The Senate bill would provide $250 million for the Choice Neighborhoods grant program, a decrease of $100 million compared to FY22 appropriations levels.
The Self-Help Homeownership Opportunity Program (SHOP) would receive $17 million, an increase of $5 million compared to FY22-enacted levels and the amount proposed by the House.
The Senate bill proposes increasing funding for the Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) program to $150 million – an increase of $41 million from the previous fiscal year, and $25 million more than what was proposed in the House bill. The Jobs-Plus program would receive $15 million in the Senate bill. These programs provide supportive services for HUD-assisted households to improve their connections to jobs, healthcare, and educational opportunities.
Funding for the Housing Opportunities for People with AIDS (HOPWA) program would increase to $468 million, up from $450 million in FY22, though this amount is $132 million less than what was proposed in the House budget. These funds are used to protect housing and services for low-income people living with HIV or AIDS.
The bill would provide $166 million for NeighborWorks America and $4 million to fund the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness, which is responsible for coordinating the federal response to the needs of people experiencing homelessness.
Housing Supply Fund
Neither the Senate nor the House bills include the $50 billion proposed in the president’s budget request for a new Housing Supply Fund. In the president’s request, the Housing Supply Fund would receive $25 billion for affordable housing production grants to state and local housing finance agencies and their partners to provide grants, revolving loan funds, and other streamlined financing tools, and $10 billion in grants to help remove barriers to affordable housing development, including funding for housing-related infrastructure. The fund would support housing for renters and homebuyers with low to moderate incomes, including families with incomes up to 150% of area median incomes in high-cost areas, as determined by HUD.
The bill also includes the “Reforming Disaster Recovery Act” to authorize the CDBG-DR program, which would accelerate assistance to disaster-impacted communities by (1) creating a Long-Term Disaster Recovery Fund to make funding more predictable; (2) permanently authorizing CDBG-DR, which would allow HUD to issue regulations in a way that supports resilience, reduces administrative burden, and reduces conflicts between Federal agency requirements; and (3) quickly supporting grantee capacity following major disasters.
The Senate bill also includes the “Native American Housing Assistance and Self-Determination Reauthorization Act of 2021” to reauthorize tribal housing programs.