U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee Approves Funding Increases for Affordable Housing in FY19

The Senate Appropriations Committee voted on June 7 to approve a spending bill that provides increased funding for affordable housing and community development programs at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

The Senate bill builds on the 10% increase in HUD funding in FY18 by providing $1.8 billion in new resources in FY19. Overall, the bill provides HUD programs with more than $12 billion above the president’s FY19 request and more than $1 billion above the House bill. Like the House Appropriations Committee, which approved its spending bill on May 23, The Senate Committee also rejected the calls to drastically cut housing investments – in the form of funding cuts, harmful rent increases, rigid work requirements, and de facto time limits – proposed by the White House.

The Senate bill fully funds all existing rental assistance contracts and includes additional resources to provide an estimated 7,600 new vouchers to veterans and youth aging out of the foster care system. In contrast, the House bill does not fully renew Housing Choice Vouchers and Project-Based Rental Assistance, which could result in fewer families being served through these programs.

The Senate bill also increases funding for public housing ($2.78 billion for capital repairs and $4.76 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 ($3.37 billion) at the robust 2018 levels, despite calls for elimination by the president. The Choice Neighborhoods program, however, receives a $50 million cut.

More details on the Senate spending bill can be found in the National Low Income Housing Coalition’s updated budget chart.