With Topline Funding Number Finalized, Congress Returns to Capitol Hill with Only Days to Reach Final FY24 Funding Agreement for HUD – Take Action!

Congressional leaders reached an agreement on a topline funding number for fiscal year (FY) 2024 appropriations over the weekend, after months of threats and stalemate from far-right members of the U.S. House of Representatives who were calling for steeper spending cuts. The agreement reached between Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA), and House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) largely mirrors the agreement reached between former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and President Joe Biden, funding domestic programs at $772.7 billion – a 0.2% increase over FY23, plus $69 billion in additional funding through a side agreement.

With a topline funding number agreed to, members of Congress will return to their Capitol Hill offices this week with just 11 days – until January 19 – to reach an agreement on a final FY24 spending bill for HUD. Failure to reach an agreement, or to pass another continuing resolution (CR) to extend federal funding, will result in a partial shutdown of the federal government.

Despite the topline funding agreement, the FY24 appropriations process may still be derailed by a push from far-right Republicans in the House – including Speaker Johnson – for an unprecedented “date change” CR, or a full-year CR with no adjustments. A date change CR would result in an extension of FY23 funding levels without revisions to address new or changed needs in FY24. Because the costs of housing and development programs are tied to market rates, which have risen dramatically in recent years, flat funding acts as a cut and reduces the number of people served by HUD’s vital affordable housing and homelessness programs.

While long-term CRs always act as a cut to HUD programs, a long-term CR would be especially harmful under the terms of the “Fiscal Responsibility Act” (FRA), passed in June 2023, which dictates that if any of the 12 annual federal appropriations bills are still operating under a CR by April 30, mandatory sequestration – or across-the-board spending cuts – are triggered. For domestic programs – including those runs by HUD – a “date change” CR would result in cuts of up to 9.4% – or more than $73 billion – above the topline funding agreed to in the FRA.

A resource released by the U.S. Senate Committee on Appropriations notes that a “date change” CR would cut assistance for nearly 700,000 households who rely on HUD’s housing assistance programs to keep a roof over their heads, pushing these families closer to housing instability, eviction, and in the worst cases homelessness. The CR would also result in the production of nearly 3,000 fewer units of affordable housing, at a time when the nation’s affordable housing shortage has become worse, especially for people with the lowest incomes.

Even with a topline agreement reached, members of the House and Senate still have a steep road ahead when it comes to finalizing FY24 spending bills before January 19. The House and Senate bills propose vastly different spending levels for HUD programs, and neither adequately funds HUD’s vital Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program. According to an updated analysis, under the Senate proposal, as many as 80,000 fewer vouchers would be reissued, and under the House proposal, an estimated 112,000 vouchers would be lost upon turnover.

Take Action!

It is critical that advocates keep weighing in with their senators and representatives on the importance of increased funding for HUD’s vital affordable housing and homelessness programs in FY24. Tell Congress that it cannot balance the federal budget at the expense of people with the lowest incomes!

  • Contact your senators and representatives to urge them to expand – not cut – investments in affordable, accessible homes through the FY24 spending bill, including full funding for NLIHC’s top priorities:     
    • Full funding to renew all existing contracts for the Tenant-Based Rental Assistance (TBRA) and Project-Based Rental Assistance (PBRA) programs.
    • Full funding for public housing operations and repairs.
    • The Senate’s proposed funding for Homeless Assistance Grants.
    • Protecting $20 million in funding for legal assistance to prevent evictions in the Senate bill.
    • The House’s proposed funding for Native housing.
  • National, state, local, tribal, and territorial organizations can also join over 2,100 organizations on a national letter calling on Congress to support the highest level of funding possible for affordable housing, homelessness, and community development resources in FY24.

Congressional leaders are also working to pass a tax package along with the final FY24 spending bill. This package represents an opportunity to expand and reform the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) – the nation’s largest source of federal financing for affordable housing development – so that it better serves people with the greatest needs.

  • Call your members of Congress and urge them to include key reforms to the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) in any tax legislation so the nation’s largest source of federal financing for affordable housing can better serve rural and tribal areas, as well as those most at risk of homelessness. These bipartisan reforms – included in the “Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act,” endorsed by over 200 members of Congress – would:
    • Expand the Extremely Low-Income (ELI) Basis Boost for housing developments that set aside at least 20% of units for households with extremely low incomes or those experiencing homelessness.
    • Designate Tribal and rural communities as “Difficult Development Areas” (DDAs), which would make it more financially feasible for developers to build affordable homes in these areas.