The House Appropriations Subcommittee that oversees funding levels for affordable housing and community development programs at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) released on May 15 a draft fiscal year (FY) 2019 spending bill that provides significant funding to housing programs that serve low income people and communities. The subcommittee is expected to take up the bill today, May 16, with a full committee vote in the coming weeks.
The House subcommittee bill maintains the 10% increase in HUD funding that advocates and Congressional champions secured in FY18 with modest additional increases for FY19, and it clearly rejects the president’s call to drastically cut housing investments. Overall, the bill provides HUD programs with more than $11 billion above the president’s FY19 request. It also rejects the harmful rent increases, rigid work requirements, and de facto time limits proposed by the president in his FY19 budget request and in subsequent legislation. The funding levels reflected in the bill are a result of the bipartisan budget agreement made earlier this year to lift the low spending caps on defense and domestic priorities, including affordable housing and community development, which itself was the work of advocates across the nation and strong Congressional champions, including House Subcommittee Chairman Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL) and Ranking Member David Price (D-NC).
Despite the increased funding available to HUD, the amounts provided in the House bill are likely not enough to renew all existing contracts provided through Housing Choice Vouchers ($20.1 billion) and Project-Based Rental Assistance ($11.35 billion). This shortfall could result in fewer families being served through these programs. NLIHC will work with the full House Appropriations Committee and with the THUD subcommittee in the Senate to further increase these funding levels.