Congress and the President were able to pass a budget bill package to avoid another costly and dangerous government shutdown. The FY 2019 HUD and USDA spending bills needed to fund programs through September were included in the package. The strong Congressional support for HUD programs in last year’s spending bill has been maintained into FY 2019 HUD budget. The HUD budget was increased by $1.5 billion, while USDA Rural Housing programs saw relatively flat funding.
Here are some HUD and USDA key highlights:
- New Mobility Demonstration Program: $25 million for a new mobility demonstration program, $5 million of which can be used to provide new housing vouchers and rest for mobility-related services to help families with children move to areas of opportunity. With HPD launching a new mobility initiative and compelling research on improved outcomes for young children, this is welcomed support.
- HUD-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing Vouchers: $40 million for new HUD-VASH vouchers. This program has been successful in reducing and even eliminating veteran homelessness in some localities.
- Section 8: Advocates believe the budget sufficiently funds all current Section 8 vouchers and contracts. This should mean that NYCHA, HPD and HCR are all able to issue vouchers through attrition at minimum.
- Public Housing: Public Housing Operating Fund received a $103 million increase, while Public Housing Capital Fund saw a $25 million increase specifically to address lead-based paint hazards. While there was a larger increase last year, this is at least moving in the right direction.
- Community Development Block Grant: CDBG received level funding.
- HOME Investments Partnerships: HOME was cut by $11 million.
- Section 202 Housing for the Elderly: $678 million funds existing contracts and renews service coordinators, while also providing $51 million for new 202 housing and $10 million for home modifications. Last year was the first appropriations for new 202 housing since 2011. It is critical that this funding for new elderly housing continues and expands to meet growing demand.
- McKinney Vento Homeless Assistance Grants: Homeless Assistance Grants increased by $123 million.
- Family Self-Sufficiency Program: FSS received a $5 million Increase.
- Fair Housing: HUD’s office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity received level funding.
- No HUD Program Rent Policy Changes that had been proposed by the Administration were included in this budget.
- USDA Section 521 Rural Rental Assistance: Section 521 was cut by $23 million.
- USDA Section 515 Rural Rental Housing Loan: Section 515 received level funding.
- USDA Multifamily Preservation and Revitalization demonstration was increased by $4.5 million.
For a more comprehensive breakdown of HUD and USDA programs please see NLIHC’s Budget Chart.