Federal Lawmakers to Fund Government Through December 21

The House and Senate are expected to vote today on a two-week continuing resolution that would keep the government funded until December 21. This is the second continuing resolution that lawmakers are considering since the beginning of the fiscal year on October 1 and will include continued level funding for HUD programs.

The Hill reports that the president has verbally agreed to the short-term fix but has threatened to shut the government down if a long-term spending package does not include $5 billion for a border wall. Democrats have said they are open to providing about $1.6 billion in funding for border security.

In August, the Senate passed an appropriations bill that would fund HUD programs for FY2019. Notably, the Senate bill provides enough funding to renew all existing Housing Choice Vouchers ($20.5 billion).

The Senate bill also increases funding for public housing ($2.77 billion for capital repairs and $4.77 billion for operating), Homeless Assistance Grants ($2.6 billion), Family Self-Sufficiency ($80 million), Healthy Homes & Lead Hazard Control ($260 million), and the Office of Policy Development and Research ($100 million). The bill renews all contracts for Section 811 Housing for Persons with Disabilities ($154 million) and provides enough funding for new construction under Section 202 Housing for the Elderly ($678 million). The Senate funds the HOME Investment Partnerships program ($1.36 billion), Community Development Block Grants ($3.36 billion) at the robust 2018 levels, despite calls for elimination by the president.

Several amendments impacting federal affordable housing programs were added to the Senate spending bill, including:

  • An amendment introduced by Senator Tina Smith (D-MN) that would direct the U.S. Department of Agriculture to report to Congress on the agency’s strategy – and the tools and resources needed – to preserve affordable rental homes in rural America.
  • An amendment introduced by Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) that would direct HUD to ensure landlords cannot unlawfully evict or deny housing to people based on their status as survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault.
  • An amendment introduced by Senator Gary Peters (D-MI) that requires HUD and the Environmental Protection Agency to report on efforts related to the removal of lead-based paint and other hazardous materials.
  • An amendment introduced by Senator Dean Heller (R-NV) that would prohibit people charged with certain crimes from receiving housing assistance.